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An international update

17th October, 2017

Alternative fuels: quality over quantity

AEF continues to participate in the work of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), a network of environmental organisations that has formal observer status at the UN’s aviation body, ICAO.

As well as developing a global carbon offsetting scheme to keep net emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels, ICAO has been encouraging governments to set targets for alternative fuels. While alternative fuels that reduce net emissions and promote sustainable development could help aviation to tackle climate change, ICSA has been concerned that such fuels may be in short supply making less attractive feedstocks, such as palm oil, necessary to meet any targets proposed. This topic was debated at a recent high-level ICAO conference in Mexico City and we are pleased that governments took this opportunity to reject the concept of a target. Instead, ICSA has argued that the industry should, in the early phases of sustainable alternative fuel development, continue to prioritise the sustainability and emissions reductions of those fuels, rather than the quantity. A copy of ICSA’s briefing on this issue, and the press release issued at the Mexico City conference can be found here.

EU ETS: tightening regulations

Also in international news, the European Parliament has recently endorsed the views of its environment committee to agree that aviation’s inclusion in the EU emissions trading scheme should be subject to an annually declining emissions cap from 2021 with 50% of the allowances obtained through an auction rather than being distributed freely (with revenues earmarked for climate finance), and a request for the European Commission to come forward with proposals to address aviation’s non-CO2 effects by 2020. The parliament will now try to negotiate these changes with the Commission and European member states over the coming months.