The , 'Bridging the aviation CO2 emissions gap: why emissions trading is needed' by explored three different scenarios for cutting emissions: improved technology, accelerated development of biofuels, and the application of carbon pricing models.
It found that by 2050, improved technology would raise carbon emissions to 1,638 billion tonnes of carbon per year (from 391 million tones in 2006), while greater use of biofuels would cut emissions by just 5%. Carbon pricing was the only option that would erase the 'emissions gap'.
"Given that the current regional MBMs extended to 2050 achieved the single largest [emissions] reduction, an operational and effective global scheme would evidently achieve even greater reductions," Professor Lee concluded. MBMs refer to market-based measures.
Lee is an advisor to the UK government, a researcher for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a former specialist researcher for ICAO, and the principal scientist and head of atmospheric processes for the G7.
comes as high level ICAO talks on a global agreement to tackle airlines emissions appear stuck on the runway, despite on including aviation within its ETS for a year.
This month, ICAO's Council and High-Level Advisory Group on International Aviation and Climate Change will be meeting to devise a resolution for addressing global emissions that can be put to the body's triennial assembly in September.
ICAO's advisory group is debating measures such as: a global target, an implementation date, the emissions trading or carbon offsetting nature of any scheme, how revenues raised should be spent, and responsibilities allocated.
Groans by greens
But little progress has yet been made, with to exclude time spent flying over international waters eliciting groans from environmentalists.
The US idea would only cover around a quarter of aviation emissions and falls far short of the EU's plan which obliged all airlines to pay a carbon fee for the entire fight if arriving or departing from EU airports.
Meanwhile, the airline industry continues to fly the standard of biofuels plus improved technology and operational improvements, with market mechanisms only constituting a "temporary gap-filling measure".
"We fully expect that technology, operations and infrastructure measures alone will provide the long-term solution for aviation's sustainable growth," .
The ICAO meeting this month is supposed to be considering three market-based measures: carbon offsetting, carbon offsetting with a revenue-generating component, and a fully global ETS.
Devil in the details
"For any of the options, the devil will be in the details of implementation," Tyler warned, adding that the airlines would vigorously remind governments of .
On the ground though, environmentalists will equally be reminding the ICAO that it was charged with limiting or reducing carbon emissions in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and that its assembly subsequently in 2001 and 2004.
Bill Hemmings of the green campaign group Transport and Environment said that, following the new report, the ICAO needed to face up to its responsibilities this year and agree a global measure.
"There can be no further excuses," he said. "IATA and the American carriers' 'Airlines 4 America' need to accept and urgently embrace carbon pricing."
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