Tag: Bunkers

Bunkers: No More Evasive Maneuvers

The way things are going, ships and airplanes will be able to cruise the seas and skies without serious emissions control measures for some years to come. Earlier this year the International Maritime Organization (IMO) indefinitely suspended its consideration of market based measures (MBMs) that can put a cap and a price on emissions in line with the polluter-pays principle.

In early October, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) decided to ‘develop’ (the text neglected to commit to actually ‘adopt’ or ‘implement’) an MBM by 2016 – not a particularly noteworthy achievement after well over a decade discussing these very measures. And the only emissions target mentioned in the agreement (but still in essence bracketed by party reservations) is carbon neutral growth after 2020. Meanwhile, under intense pressure from airlines and many governments, the EU is severely scaling back its ETS coverage of international air traffic, the only measure in the world that regulates aviation emissions.

The shipping and aviation industries must be very pleased with themselves. Thanks to their intensive lobbying of transport ministries and the tendency by governments to treat these sectors as a proxy for the broader negotiations, countries seeking action on emissions from these sectors have practically thrown in the towel.

Giving the IMO and ICAO free rein to pursue emissions from these sectors with no real accountability is not likely to turn out well for people or the planet. The owners of ships and airlines have much more direct influence over transport ministries that represent parties in these bodies. These sectors have benefitted from their unique access to tax-free fuels for too long to be willing to start paying their way now. Ambitious emissions reduction targets and anything resembling carbon pricing for these sectors is highly unlikely.

The UNFCCC must ensure that the international shipping and aviation sectors contribute their fair share to global efforts. They should be included in any considerations of equity, such as calculation of historical responsibility and other applicable indicators. The ADP and the COP must adopt decisions that either set emissions limits directly, or provide guidance to ensure a sufficient level of ambition in emissions reduction efforts, particularly in emissions limits set as part of global Market Based Measures. The new legal agreement to be finalized in 2015 must contain provisions that ensure these sectors contribute their fair share to global efforts.

To ensure accountability and adequate consideration of these sectors, the ADP must receive regular reports from ICAO and IMO on efforts to control GHG emissions from these sectors, including progress towards implementation of market based measures that can put a cap on emissions, put a price on emissions, and generate finance for climate action.

 

Agreement needed in ICAO on global MBM for aviation

On September 24th in Montreal, the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will take place, and high on the agenda will be how to control fast-growing greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel.

After more than 15 years of discussions of market based measures (MBMs) to put a price on carbon pollution and ensure that emissions targets are met, countries have still not agreed to implement a global MBM. Agreement is now within reach but the draft agreement that recently emerged from ICAO Council, to be voted on at Assembly, would delay a decision to adopt a global MBM for another three years. The Climate Action Network (CAN) does not accept any further delay in agreeing an MBM and believe that the text currently on the table text must be improved in key respects:

·       The agreement must commit to adopt (not just develop) a global MBM by the next ICAO Assembly, to take effect by 2016. Anything less will send the signal that the aviation sector is not serious about making significant progress to protect the global climate. Further delay could also result in a patchwork of regional and national schemes, and would justify decisions and direction on controlling aviation emissions from other bodies.

·       The agreement must ensure the development of an ambitious MBM that reflects the latest science on the scale and urgency of emissions reductions required, and a full carbon pricing mechanism that reflects the polluter-pays principle. Full consideration should also be given to revenue generation for climate finance, especially for adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries, noting that any finance used towards developed country climate finance commitments must have no net incidence on developing countries. After all, it is business and relatively affluent travellers who make up the bulk of air passengers, and they can afford to pay for their pollution.

·       Any global MBM must cover all emissions from flights on the routes covered under the mechanism, and not be restricted to the airspace of any particular country or region. 

The final agreement must address the impacts on of those developing countries that could be particularly affected by an MBM, such as small island states and least developed countries. Route based approaches can be found to reflect special circumstances and respective capabilities, including the maturity of aviation in different countries, which maintain the environmental integrity of the MBM and ensure the vast majority of emissions from international aviation are covered. Differential use of revenue generated can also ensure an equitable outcome.

The time has come for a decisive outcome that leaves no doubt about ICAO’s ability and determination to control international aviation’s growing climate impact. The global aviation sector has an opportunity to show leadership and vision, rather than further attempts to delay progress. 

Topics: 

CAN submission to ADP Workstream 1, September 2013

Legal scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement 

The scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement should be consistent with a 1.5ºC global carbon budget with high likelihood of success, including targets and actions within an equitable framework that provides the financial, technology and capacity building support to countries with low capacity.   It should be serious about ensuring sufficient support for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate change. It should be built on, developing and improving the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention including transparency through common and accurate accounting and effective compliance processesrespecting the principles of equity. The form of the 2015 agreement should be a fair, ambitious and legally binding protocol.

Kyoto Protocol as a basis for the ADP

The Kyoto Protocol provides a good basis for future Protocol, its rules have been tested and should be improved and built upon.  Existing elements of the Kyoto Protocol that provide a basis for the new Protocol include:

·       Long-term viability: the KP provides a framework that can be updated for each 5-year commitment period, while maintaining its essential elements

·       Top down approach, setting an overall objective, an aggregate goal, for developed countries, allowing appropriate consideration of the science, with comparability of effort between countries established through their respective targets (Article 3.1)

·       Legally binding, economy-wide, absolute emissions reduction targets (QELROs) for countries with high responsibility and capacity, expressed as a percentage below the 1990 base year (Annex B)

·       A system of 5-year commitment periods, with comparability of effort measured against a common base year allowing for reasonable cycles of review linked to the IPCC reports and for comparability of effort (Articles 3.1 and 3.7).  A commitment regime under the new 2015 agreement should set at least two 5-year commitment periods, so that there are clear consequences in the already-agreed second period for failure to comply with the first 5-year target, and so that a next set of two 5-year targets is in place before the first 5-year period expires.   The system should include an adjustment procedure similar to the adjustment procedure under Article 2.9 of the Montreal Protocol that is restricted to increasing ambition. This adjustment procedure should allow both unilateral real increases in ambition by a country and for a ratcheting up of all countries resulting from an adequacy review.

·       Monitoring, review, and international verification system (Articles, 5,7,8 and associated decisions)

·       Compliance mechanism composed of two tracks – facilitative and enforcement (Article 18).  Compliance with the new 2015 legally binding outcome will depend in large part on effective *domestic* compliance processes, which can be facilitated by sharing of domestic best practices in compliance design.  This will in turn facilitate better compliance with international obligations. 

·       Mandatory review of provisions of the Protocol for subsequent commitment periods (Article 3.9)

·       Supplementarity – ensuring that market or non-market mechanisms are supplementary to (ie, CDM) to domestic actions, and don’t undermine the fundamental need to decarbonize all economies (Article 6.1d)

·       Required reporting on ”demonstrable progress”, establishing an important reporting requirement and stocktaking (Article 3.2)

·       Basket approach to GHGs, and the ability to list new gases and classes of gases (Annex A)

·       Use of Global Warming Potentials (GWP) to allow comparability of the impacts of different gases on global warming (Article 5.3)

The Equity Reference Framework

Equity is back on the negotiating table, and this is no surprise. Climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC were never going to succeed unless they faced the challenge of “equitable access to sustainable development.” Unless they faced, more precisely, the equity challenge of not just holding to a 2°C or even 1.5°C-compliant global emission budget but also supporting sustainable development and adaptation. These are the preconditions of any successful climate transition.

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