The environmental concern is increasingly important in the shadow of global warming and increasing effect of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Countries around the world have started looking at the impact of aviation on the environment, albeit aviation's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is currently no more than 2% of the global emissions.
One of the latest governmental approaches was to include the aviation industry in the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Australia, United States, New Zealand and Japan
are developing programs for trading greenhouse gas emissions that include the aviation industry. On an international level, all countries through the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO are working to develop a Global Scheme to avoid the unilateral schemes.
|European Union Law on Emissions Cap & Trade (EU ETS)
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was extended to the aviation industry pursuant to Directive 2008/101/EC
, which came into force on 2 February 2009, stipulating that as of 1 January
2012, all flights arriving at or departing from an EU airport will be included in the ETS.
- On 1 January 2010 the Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation was expanded to include flights to, from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, or domestic flights in these countries.
- Airlines subjected to the scheme will be reporting to allocated EU member states that will administer their adherence to the requirements of the scheme.
- Arab airlines have been allocated the following states:
- United Kingdom: Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Libyan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Sudan Airways, Syrian Arab Airlines, in addition to Oman Air.
- France: Air Arabia, Air Cairo, Afriqiyah Airways, Air Algerie, Iraqi Airways, Middle East Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Tunisair and Yemen Airways.
- Belgium: Saudi Arabian Airlines and Egypt Air Cargo.
- Portugal: Jordan Aviation.
- Various requirements for compliance were requested including submission of monitoring plans for Tonne-Kilometre (TK) data and emissions data, and verified TK reports and annual verified emissions report as of 2010.
- European countries may impose penalties on airlines in case of late submission of the required reports that could lead to ban airlines' operations to the European Union.
: Inclusion of all flights from, to and within the EU to the EU ETS starting 2012.
Initial cost for world airlines
to buy the rest of the emissions needed to maintain their operations in the EU in 2012 is estimated at about 100 million Euros.
The Arab fleet
enjoys a comparative advantage over the world fleet in terms of meeting environmental requirements. The average aircraft age
for Arab airlines is less than 8 years
|Global Policy governing Aviation's Impact on the Environment
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- Objective: Stabilizing Green House Gases (GHG) concentrations at safe level.
- Principles: several, among them Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).
- Commitments: Annex I Parties (industrialized) are committed to reduce emissions (back to 1990 level in 2000), and to support financially and technologically actions by non-Annex I Parties (developing) to implement the Convention.
- Number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol - 2005, which has more powerful and legally binding measures.
- New commitments for Annex I Parties to reduce emissions over 2008 -2012.
- Kyoto Mechanisms: Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation, Emissions Trading.
- Second commitment period to start in 2013.
- The Kyoto Protocol has recognized ICAO, as the global instrument to pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation.
- Bali Action Plan 2007, negotiations ongoing.
- In parallel with negotiations for Kyoto Protocol second commitment period.
- Commitments for all developed countries.
- Actions by developing countries.
- So far it led to the "Copenhagen Accord".
- 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15)
- The United Nation Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) held its 15th conference of the Parties in Copenhagen between 8 - 18 December 2009. The conference was concluded with the Copenhagen Accord.
- International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO
- ICAO High Level Meeting Declaration – October 2009: To achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2 per cent over the medium term until 2020 and an aspirational global fuel efficiency improvement rate of 2 per cent per annum in the long term from 2021 to 2050, calculated on the basis of volume of fuel used per revenue tonne kilometer;
- Friends of the President: In preparation for the Assembly, President Kobeh-González has set up a group of DGCA "Friends of the President" to develop the declaration of the HLM to be submitted to the 37th ICAO Assembly.
- 37th ICAO Assembly: The 37th triennial ICAO Assembly took place in Montreal from 28 September to 8 October 2010. The Assembly was concluded with its resolution 17/02 on Environment
AACO follows up and lobbies on all regulatory, political and technical developments related to the environment. AACO also evaluates best means to protect the interests of member airlines within this framework. AACO, through its Environmental Policy Group which gathers all member airlines, focuses its work on four main lines of action:
- Awareness: to continuously follow up on environmental developments related to aviation and distribution of such information to member airlines.
- Policy: to work with all parties concerned to try to reach a global scheme to avoid the individual schemes imposed by states including the EU ETS, and secure within any global scheme certain principles that protect the interests of member airlines.
- Solutions: to find practical cost effective solutions to member airlines for their compliance with the EU ETS through consultancy, the adoption of an electronic system for the monitoring & reporting of emissions and tonne-kilometre data, and to contract external verifiers for the verification of reports as per the requirement of the EU ETS.
- Lobbying: to lobby on various levels the positions and resolutions announced by UNFCCC and ICAO, with the cooperation of ACAC and IATA to protect the interests of our member airlines under any scheme for the reduction of aviation emissions.
- AACO 42nd AGM in Jeddah resolved to support the industry targets provided that the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) principle is applied on aviation and provided further that the unique situation of airlines who have invested in their fleets be recognized in any mitigation measures.
- AACO 43rd AGM in Cairo welcomed the efficiency targets as adopted by ICAO and the provisions that are considered part and parcel of the implementation of these targets. It also supported the Recognition of different circumstances of states, the maturity of the market and the recognition of past and future investments of airlines and the implementation of market based measures.