Minister Dijksma speaks about global CO2 agreements in the aviation sector

In Canada, on 28 September, Environment Minister Dijksma addressed the triennial UN meeting of the international civil aviation organisation (ICAO) – attended by delegates from 191 countries – regarding the realisation of a market system to regulate CO2 emissions. The aim is to ensure CO2 neutral growth in the aviation sector from 2021. This would be the first sector to set down specific global agreements on CO2 emissions.

Dividend

Minister Dijksma: ‘The global aviation sector must not fall short when it comes to CO2 reduction. Incompatible interests have always thwarted agreements on cleaner flights. The proposal now on the negotiating table could be a bit more ambitious, yet we do have to reach an agreement with 191 countries, including countries that have always shirked away from climate agreements. That is the dividend that is now at stake. And this is what we must continue to build on.’

Economising flights

The aviation sector currently accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of climate change. In the years ahead, aviation will see a huge growth: flight volumes are expected to double within the next twenty years. Together with other EU member states, the Netherlands is advocating a global system aimed at achieving CO2 neutral growth in the aviation sector with effect from 2021. Economising flights by using more efficient engines, more lightweight materials, aerodynamics, flight technologies, and alternative fuels is vitally important, but compensation should tackle the bulk of emissions. For example, aviation companies could pay for CO2 emissions by investing in climate projects promoting sustainable energy.

Safety

In addition to the realisation of an agreement regarding a global market system for CO2 emissions and its application, the meeting in Montréal will also address a wide range of other aviation issues, such as safety, security, capacity issues, and economics. In her speech tomorrow, Minister Dijksma will pay extensive attention to flying over conflict zones. She will make a case for having recommendations made by the Dutch Safety Board regarding the MH17 incorporated into international regulations. These recommendations pertain to risk assessment, information exchange, a retention obligation for accident research data, and the responsibility of nations for their airspace.