ICAO workshops get underway to help States prepare action plans to reduce international aviation emissions
ICAO's Action Plan Workshop in Mexico City
Thu 5 May 2011 – The first of five three-day regional workshops to assist ICAO Member States in producing national action plans for reducing international aviation CO2 emissions ended in Mexico City yesterday. Hosted by the Mexican government, the workshop was attended by representatives from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean States nominated by their respective governments, as well as other stakeholders such as regional civil aviation organisations, the Inter-American Development Bank, IATA, ACI and CANSO. The plans, to be submitted to ICAO by June 2012, result from the agreement reached at the ICAO Assembly last October that States achieve an overall 2 per cent increase in global fuel efficiency up to 2050 and an aspirational goal of stabilising CO2 emissions levels by 2020. Although not mandatory, by submitting action plans, States can benefit from technical and possible financial assistance in reducing aviation emissions.
“ICAO environmental action plans will help States identify the most appropriate measures to reduce emissions from international aviation,” said ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González. “They will also allow ICAO to monitor progress by States in achieving global aspirational goals and help address specific needs.”
To assist States develop their action plans, ICAO has prepared a “comprehensive programme” that includes guidance material, a web-based template for the submission of plans and preparation training workshops.
“The workshops provide an opportunity for the exchange of views and experiences in order to help States formulate policies and measures that are in line with differing realities,” said Ambassador Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo, Mexico’s Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.
Further regional workshops are due to take place in Bangkok (May 25-27), Dubai (June 14-16), Nairobi (July 4-6) and Paris (July 11-13). ICAO says these efforts will make it possible for all regions to receive the initial information necessary to launch the preparation of their action plans by the middle of the year.
In addition to submitting action plans, States are “encouraged” to report annually to ICAO on their international aviation CO2 emissions.
The action plan process is one of the few measures adopted by the Assembly climate change resolution that ICAO has been able to implement at speed. Other major contentious issues, such as medium term aspirational reduction goals and market-based measures, are now in limbo and subject to a ‘cooling off’ period. It is believed they are likely to be outsourced through a tender process to outside contractors for further study.