COP21 agreement will 'add momentum' to 2016 aviation talks

Airlines are set to build on the Paris COP21 agreement with their own emissions pledge next year, say aviation industry groups.


Aviation wasn't covered in the Paris agreement signed at the weekend in which 195 countries pledged to keep global warming at 'well below' 2C hotter than pre-industrial levels.


Under the COP21 agreement countries will strive to ensure peak emissions are reached as soon as possible and then to match emission levels to appropriate carbon sinks in the second half of this century.


Negotiations at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly in Abu Dhabi next September are meanwhile expected to end in a pledge to limit aviation emissions, which account for four to six per cent of global carbon output.


The industry's governing body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is also behind the initiative. Director general and CEO Tony Tyler commented: "IATA welcomes the historic COP21 Paris Agreement which will provide additional momentum to governments for the negotiations at ICAO on an aviation emissions agreement, which are expected to conclude next year."


He added: "The aviation industry, through ICAO, is working towards securing its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and the positive outcome of the Paris conference gives more impetus to Governments to achieve this."


The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) also welcomed the COP21 agreement. In a statement, it said:


"This is a significant step forward for the world and will provide positive momentum for aviation market-based measure discussions taking place in the lead up to the ICAO Assembly.


"We now appeal to governments meeting at ICAO to redouble their efforts in progressing a global market-based measure for the aviation sector."


ATAG added that carbon offsetting is likely to play a key role in meeting future targets.


"The Paris agreement provides important key building blocks, including support for international carbon markets and the use of forestry as a source of offsets. The aviation sector will need access to high-quality offsets as it develops the global market-based measure."