Briefing on ICAO proposal to address aviation’s carbon emissions

September 12, 2013


Jennifer Andreassen, Environmental Defense Fund, +1 202 572 3387,
Chris Conner, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), +1 202 495 4786,
Nico Muzi, Transport & Environment, +32 (0) 484 27 87 91,


Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
10 a.m. Washington (EDT) | 3 p.m. London (BST) | 4 p.m. Brussels (CEST)


Briefing for media on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO’s) General Assembly, Sept. 24—Oct. 4, where the issue of how to reduce aviation’s global warming pollution has emerged as one of the hottest topics. Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of global warming pollution, and if left unregulated, these emissions globally are expected to quadruple.

Next Thursday Sept. 19, leading environmental groups will discuss the context for the Assembly’s climate change discussion, including a draft resolution finalized at the Sept. 4 meeting of ICAO’s Executive Council; potential outcomes from the Assembly; and what implications the Assembly’s decisions could have for aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System. Panelists will also take questions from journalists.


Brad Schallert, Senior Program Officer for International Climate Change Policy, WWF
Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
Bill Hemmings, Programme Manager for Aviation, Transport & Environment


  • Within U.S. and Canada: +1 800 753 0594
  • Outside U.S. and Canada: +1 212 231 2911
  • UK toll-free: 08004960822
  • Belgium toll-free: 080075638

A recording of conference will be available; please contact Jennifer Andreassen:


The upcoming 38th General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is being closely watched by governments, the aviation industry and environmentalists as it prepares to consider a proposal that would commit ICAO to develop a global market-based measure to limit aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions and to decide, by 2016, on the measure’s details. The proposal was forwarded to the Assembly by its 36-member-state Council Assembly on Sept. 4. The Assembly’s 191 member states meet every three years in Montreal.

A decision to move ahead with a global market-based measure to cut aviation pollution could bring considerable pressure on the European Parliament to enact changes to the EU’s Emissions Trading System, which currently caps emissions from all flights into or out of European airports.

A recent study from Manchester Metropolitan University shows that the airline industry cannot meet its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 if it does not adopt a market-based measure.

In the broader context of international efforts to combat climate change and the imminent release of the latest IPCC report, the upcoming Assembly meeting presents an important opportunity for countries to come to agreement on avoiding a significant and growing percentage of global emissions.

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