US representative to ICAO says general consensus remains that market measures should only be implemented from 2020
Duane Woerth delivers speech to US Chamber of Commerce's Aviation Summit
Fri 27 Apr 2012 – The general consensus within ICAO since 2007 has been that market-based measures (MBMs) to limit the growth of aviation emissions will not come into play until 2020, said the United States permanent representative and ambassador to ICAO, Duane Woerth, at a recent US Chamber of Commerce aviation conference in Washington. That consensus, although not unanimous, has so far remained the same, he believed. Whether the 2013 Assembly produced a different consensus, “we will all have to wait and see,” said the unconvinced US envoy. He was critical of the slow progress at ICAO to deliver on a CO2 standard for airframes and engines that is due to be produced in 2013, which was, in his opinion, being held up by a failure to agree on variables and metrics.
Woerth told delegates that the ICAO long-term roadmap consensus on international aviation emissions reductions saw technological and operational improvement measures being used in the period to 2020. “Only beginning 2020 does the ICAO roadmap plan for reductions from market-based measures – this is an important fact to acknowledge,” he said.
The current directive to the ICAO Council following the 2010 Assembly was a derivative of the 2007 Assembly resolution, he said. “This is hardly surprising since the general consensus had not changed much at all between 2007 and 2010.”
He said the Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC), created by the ICAO Council after the 2007 Assembly, had in turn set up a special MBM task force, and had reported to the ICAO Council after completing its work in 2009. The Council subsequently acknowledged that there remained disagreement on the application of MBMs across national borders.
Woerth reported that the climate change resolution passed at the 2010 Assembly then requested the Council in two separate and distinct paragraphs to work to develop a MBMs framework for consideration by the next Assembly in late 2013 and also to continue to explore the feasibility of a global MBM scheme by undertaking further studies, taking into account outcomes at the UNFCCC, and report progress to the 2013 Assembly.
The recent formation by the ICAO Council President, Robert Kobeh González, of an Ad-hoc Working Group to study MBM options and report this June and November “sounds awfully similar to the work ICAO has already done between 2007 and 2010,” he said.
Woerth went on: “So what will the 2013 Assembly produce – a different consensus? I guess we’re all going to have wait and see.”
MBMs were one of a number of environmental work programmes being undertaken by ICAO as part of its aviation emissions reduction strategy, said Woerth, a former president of the US Air Line Pilots Association. As well as operational improvements, he said ICAO was acting as an information clearing house on alternative aviation fuels and working hard to facilitate their development and deployment.
He said a great deal of time and energy had been spent on developing a new CO2 standard for engines and airframes as technological improvements had been recognised by ICAO as being extremely important in reducing aviation carbon emissions. The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) has a goal to produce a new standard in 2013 but he feared the deadline would be missed and was critical of the lack of progress.
“The goal is not in dispute. What is holding up this process, in my opinion, is an inability or unwillingness to agree on a reasonable set of metrics for aircraft and engine performance,” he told delegates. “The more variables and metrics that are introduced in CAEP, the more it will be impossible to finish on time. It’s time to stop moving the goal posts and make a decision in CAEP.”