statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 5 OCT: Global aviation bodies today hailed as “historic” an agreement among 191 countries at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to curb carbon emissions, which would lead the European Union to abandon plans to impose carbon tax on all flights over its sky.
The agreement arrived at the ICAO’s 38th General Assembly in Montreal yesterday after two weeks of tense negotiations and months of debate, commits governments to develop global market-based measures (MBM) for aviation emissions from 2020, to be decided at the next assembly in 2016.
Technical discussions would be held over the next three years as nations work to design elements of such a scheme, including standards for monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions and the type of scheme to be implemented.
Countries such as India and China, which had joined the United States, Russia, Brazil and several other nations to oppose the EU push for a carbon levy on flights over its airspace, were also part of the agreement.
Last year, EU had suspended its carbon dioxide Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for all flights, after facing a storm of criticism. Under ETS, airlines flying in EU airspace were required to buy pollution credits to cover 15 per cent of their emissions for the entire flight, wherever it originated.
But several nations rejected the scheme that could have led to a trade war among EU and non-EU nations.
The ICAO resolution permits countries to deploy their own MBMs in the interim, but prevents EU from expanding ETS to include foreign carriers until the global scheme is in place.