U.S. NGOs echo aviation industry call to government: We want a global emissions cap adopted this year

June 3, 2013
Elizabeth Heyd, eheyd@nrdc.org, +1-202-289-2424
Annie Petsonk, apetsonk@edf.org, +1-202-365-3237

Leading U.S. NGOs today echoed the new call by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade body comprising 240 airlines worldwide, for governments to agree this September on a single global cap on emissions of international flights to take effect in 2020. NGOs issued their call in response to a resolution, adopted today at IATA’s annual general meeting in Cape Town, urging its member airlines to “strongly encourage governments” to adopt such a single global measure at this year’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly.

Not all the ingredients offered in IATA’s resolution will fully address aviation’s contribution to climate change, the NGOs cautioned. But Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund, said: “IATA has opened the door, now it is time for governments to walk through it this September. This is the signal that governments have been seeking.”

Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “It is time for governments to heed the call and act decisively this year to control aviation’s carbon pollution.”

In advance of IATA’s general meeting in Cape Town, global NGOs sent a letter to IATA Director General Tony Tyler calling on IATA to act on market-based measures. The 11 environment, development, community and science groups said in the letter, “To be credible, such measures must include targets compatible with climate science, strong provisions to ensure the environmental credibility of the traded units, limited access to offsets and strict provisions to ensure compliance.”

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