The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) executive committee reached a deal late Thursday to “decide to develop a global MBM (market-based mechanism) scheme for international aviation” in 2016, Reuters reports.
The ICAO’s governing council in September agreed to wait until the next triennial assembly in 2016 to set the final details for a plan to cut the aviation sector’s emissions, despite support from industry and environmental groups to adopt a market-based measure this year.
Also on Thursday, the group rejected the European Union’s plan to include aviation in its emissions trading scheme until a global system goes into effect in 2020, Bloomberg reports.
The EU, which has led the charge to reduce airlines’ air pollution, tried to include international flights in its carbon market last year. Some 26 countries, including the US and China, lodged a formal complaint through the ICAO about the EU’s rules and in November the European Commission suspended its carbon emissions laws on flights taking off or landing from EU member states.
At the time, however, EU commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard warned that if the ICAO Assembly does not move forward with emissions regulations, then the EU carbon penalties on flights will resume in 2014.
The EU now must decide whether to continue to suspend its emissions trading legislation, which applied to intercontinental flights.
In July, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Environmental Defense Fund published an analysis that found the aviation industry could achieve its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 by tapping into the available supply of carbon credits at a cost to the industry as low as $4 per metric ton of CO2.
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