Airlines tell UN, include us in a post-Kyoto deal on climate change

6 April 2009

The Aviation Global Deal (AGD) Group will today present UN climate change negotiators with a draft policy framework for addressing CO2 emissions from international aviation. The framework will set out an "ambitious, equitable and effective" way of tackling these emissions under a global climate change deal to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

The Group's side event, at the UN negotiating session in Bonn, marks the first time that aviation sector companies have made direct recommendations to UN climate change officials on how their sector's CO2 emissions should be accounted for.

The AGD Group will propose that:

  • International aviation CO2 emissions should be addressed through a global sectoral agreement, rather than a patchwork of regional initiatives, in order to avoid carbon leakage and maintain a level playing field;
  • A global target is set for the sector, to ensure it plays its part in global CO2 emissions reductions;
  • This is achieved through a 'cap and trade' emissions trading mechanism, where the sector has open access to global carbon markets;
  • An airline's CO2 emissions is based on the carbon content of its annual fuel purchases and the use of sustainable, lower life-cycle carbon alternatives are incentivised;
  • An international body administers the system;
  • Any revenue generated from auction of a proportion of CO2 allowances is used for climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries and also research into greener aviation technology.

The AGD Group's presentation, which builds on principles set out in their launch communiqué, will explain the Group's current thinking on a global approach that will maintain a level-playing field for airlines, provide revenue to support climate change activities in developing countries and accelerate alternative fuel and technology development and uptake.

Mark Kenber, Policy Director, The Climate Group, said, "It is a significant step forward for leading aviation players to come to the negotiating table with constructive ideas about how to transition to a low carbon economy. We hope that the open dialogue encouraged at the side event today will help all stakeholders better understand what the options and opportunities are for addressing international aviation emissions."

The AGD Group has consulted various government, industry and NGO stakeholders on their proposals over the past few weeks and has received wide-spread support for their approach. But today is the first time that the AGD Group will discuss their proposals publicly.

The AGD Group, comprising British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France/KLM, Virgin Atlantic, BAA and international NGO The Climate Group, was launched in Hong Kong in February with the aim of finding a practical way that CO2 emissions from international aviation can be tackled in the next global deal on climate change.

The AGD Group is looking to build support for this proposal and engage with negotiators and other stakeholders in the run up to Copenhagen.

To download the full press release click here

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