A global agreement on a measure to offset carbon emissions from aviation has been hailed as a landmark step by the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF).
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed the new global market-based measure (GMBM) at a meeting of its assembly last week, becoming the first major industry to adopt a worldwide approach to reducing emissions. The UN body’s 191 member states reached a consensus on the deal to offset carbon emissions – a method acknowledged by GSF as the most economic and politically attractive option.
The aviation sector currently represents two per cent of global carbon emissions, but projected growth means this is expected to increase significantly in future decades and shippers are under increasing pressure to report on the carbon intensity of their transport operations.
GSF’s Aviation Emissions Policy Statement released last month highlighted the importance of a global deal to tackle climate change. The report said carbon reductions should first be made through operational and fuel efficiency measures and stressed that the cost of carbon offsetting should not be passed on to the customer.
Chris Welsh, Secretary-General of GSF, said: “This is a landmark agreement that signals the aviation sector’s commitment to reduce emissions and take forward the aspirations of COP21. While offsetting won’t become mandatory until 2027, this deal creates a roadmap for the sustainable future of global aviation which is a key enabler of economic growth and social development.”