Emissions from flying continue to rise. In 1986, the aviation industry consumed 2.6 million barrels of jet fuel per day. By 2012, the figure had more than doubled, reaching 5.4 million. The impact on the climate is serious, yet the industry’s response has been worse than useless.
Last year, four academics published a paper in Conservation Biology, with the title, “Questioning REDD+ and the future of market-based conservation”. The paper starts with this memorable line, “Increasingly, one hears furtive whispers in the halls of conservation: ‘REDD+ is dead; it’s time to cut our losses and move on.’”
From 26 to 28 May 2017, a meeting took place in Xapuri, in the state of Acre, Brazil. The meeting brought together Apurinã, Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Manchineri and Shawadawa indigenous peoples, representatives of traditional communities, rubber tappers, academics and supporting organisations. The meeting’s theme was, “The effects of environmental / climatic policies on traditional populations”.
Almost 4,000 people are currently in Bonn, taking part in the latest UN climate talks. Many of them will have travelled there by aeroplane. Of course, it’s an important meeting. So important that Indonesia felt the need to register 58 people to take part. But reducing emissions from aviation is not on the agenda in Bonn. There is no mention of aviation in the Paris Agreement.
A recent article by Kate Wheeling in Pacific Standard magazine highlights four ways that the aviation sector’s carbon market proposals could undermine the Paris Agreement. The article points out that, “as the rest of the world is cutting back, aviation’s climate plan includes increasing emissions.”
On 7 October 2016, the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced its plans to set up a mechanism to offset its ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Market-Based Measure is planned to start in 2021, but all the details (such as which carbon credits might be elligible) are still to be agreed.
Today, in Montreal, the 39th meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation starts. One of the agenda items is ICAO’s response to climate change. The industry’s preferred option is to continue expanding, to continue polluting, and to offset its emissions.
In September 2015, a meeting took place in New York between Per Pharo and Marte Sendstad of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, and Nigel Purvis from the Washington DC-based consulting firm, Climate Advisers.
Last week, REDD-Monitor looked at the aviation industry’s plans to offset its ever-growing emissions using REDD credits. Kevin Conrad and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations are behind the plan. It’s supported by nine mainly US-based NGOs. And it’s opposed by more than 80 NGOs internationally.
Air travel has increased rapidly in recent decades, resulting in ever more greenhouse gas emissions from flying. Yet the aviation sector was nowhere to been seen the UN’s Paris Agreement agreed at the end of last year. Instead the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is planning “carbon neutral” growth from 2020. ICAO plans to achieve this largely through carbon offsets.