Mon 22 Feb 2010 – The triennial meeting of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP 8) has recommended more stringent Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emission standards of up to 15 percent on large engines and 5-15 percent on small engines certified after 31 December 2013. ICAO said that CAEP was also committed to a timetable for the development of a new CO2 standard by the time of the next CAEP meeting in 2013 (CAEP 9), which would apply – if agreed by Member States – to new aircraft engines from around 2016/7. Pressure for an international CO2 standard has been growing, particularly from the US, but the metrics are still unclear and a work programme, including on noise emissions, is now due to start within CAEP.
Under the CAEP recommendations, which will be reviewed – along with the rest of the CAEP future programme – by the ICAO Council in the coming months, engines produced under existing NOx standards would have a cut-off date of 31 December 2012.
ICAO said the development of a CO2 standard for commercial aircraft would establish the first global fuel-efficiency standard for any industry sector. “The new standard will set clear direction and timeframes for manufacturers to keep producing innovative aircraft design and materials, as well as more fuel efficient engines, in order to further reduce the impact of aviation on climate change and meet the ambitious goals the sector has set for itself,” the UN agency said in a statement.
Roberto Kobeh González, President of the ICAO Council, said: “This is an integral component of our aggressive plan of action to systematically address the effects of aviation on climate change.
“In 2009, under the leadership of ICAO, aviation produced the first globally-harmonized agreement to address climate change from a specific sector, which included a call for the development of a new CO2 standard.”
Kobeh was referring to a mandate from the High-Level Meeting on climate change held last October for work to take place on a CO2 standard, and the CAEP 8 meeting assigned the task to a working group with a timetable – thought to be ambitious by some – for the development of a standard for assessment by CAEP 9. A similar work programme was agreed on developing a more stringent aircraft noise standard.
“Potentially we could have both or neither, depending on how thorough the CAEP assessments are, and how compelling the results,” said a CAEP source. “It’s an issue of resources and political priorities so there will be much jostling over the next three years.”
The CAEP meeting also recommended that reports related to market-based measures (MBMs) – such as voluntary emissions trading systems, linking of open emissions trading systems and offsetting emissions from the aviation sector – be published, in order to provide guidance to aviation stakeholders when evaluating different schemes for environmental mitigation. It is understood the CAEP MBM working group reported it had completed its tasks and did not recommend any future work, unless it was requested to do so at a later date.
Meanwhile, ICAO has announced that it will be holding its third Environmental Colloquium on 11-14 May 2010 in Montreal. Held every three years, this particular event will focus on climate change strategies and programmes of ICAO, industry, academic/research institutions and international organizations. It will look at key developments emanating from CAEP 8 as well as ICAO’s Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels and the UNFCCC COP 15 summit in Copenhagen. The first optional day is a tutorial to familiarize and prepare participants with the vocabulary and concepts related to aviation greenhouse gas emissions.
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