The Council President of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, expressed the UN civil aviation agency’s deep satisfaction and profound hope following the landmark agreement forged at the COP21 in Paris last week.
“COP21 has been a great success for our planet and for civil society, but of course its process did not end with the concluding of its agreement,” stressed President Aliu. “Every State and every global industrial sector must now redouble their efforts toward achieving substantial progress on emissions reduction if the COP21 legacy is to be achieved, and the civil aviation community is no exception.”
The fact that international aviation was not covered under the COP21 agreement was considered by Aliu to be “a vote of confidence in the progress ICAO and the aviation community have achieved thus far, and in our ambitious aspirational goals for the coming decades. Most importantly, it provides our community with further momentum toward achieving agreement on an international aviation market-based Measure (MBM) at ICAO’s 39th Assembly later next year.”
Rather than including international aviation emissions in its agreement, the COP21 invited ICAO to continue to report progress on its wide-ranging environmental work programme to future sessions of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). The global aviation MBM is considered a key aspect of the aviation community’s global response to climate change, and subsequent to a Resolution from its 38th Assembly in 2013, ICAO’s 39th Assembly next September will consider a detailed recommendation for a global aviation MBM scheme addressing its main design elements and related implementation mechanisms from 2020.
The COP21 results also supported a Declaration this November from ICAO’s 36 State Governing Council, which emphasized that it would continue to provide the necessary leadership, through ICAO, on all environmental issues relating to international civil aviation.
Both Council President Aliu and ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu were present at the COP21 with ICAO’s Environmental Protection team, undertaking more than 20 bilateral meetings with heads of governments and international organizations to highlight the importance of ICAO’s efforts and role.
“The COP21 process and outcome represents a tremendous accomplishment for the world and for aviation,” highlighted Secretary General Liu. “2016 will be a very big year for our sector and the environment, not only with respect to the MBM progress we expect at our Assembly, but also on a new global CO2 certification Standard for aircraft which should soon be completed. We look forward to making further progress with our States by providing tailored assistance and capacity building where needed, and through further and concerted cooperation I am sure aviation will continue to play an important role in helping the world to achieve a sustainable future.”