ICAO Chief Pledges a Global Emissions Proposal by end of 2012

As airlines come to terms with the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading System, the ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin pledged last week to have a proposal on how to regulate airline emissions on a global basis by the end of this year.

Speaking at the International Aviation Club in Washington, Mr Benjamin said that in the same way as airline safety is a global program, so the industry’s environmental program is also a global issue. “While there are clear differences among member states, we still have to come to a global solution,” he said.

ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin
 Raymond declined to give details on what the emissions proposal might contain. But he said it would use the ICAO resolution that was agreed in 2010 as a framework and it would be put on the table by the end of the year. “You have my word on that”

With specific regard to the controversial EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that went into effect Jan. 1, Benjamin said he preferred not to resort to using Article 84 of the Chicago Convention to resolve the dispute between the European Commission and those who are against the EC’s unilateral imposition of an emissions tax. Article 84 gives the ICAO council the authority to decide on disputes that cannot be settled between member states and was ultimately used to settle the hushkit dispute between the US and Europe.
Article 84 would not progress the issue and would deviate resources, Benjamin said.  “I am very happy that I don’t have Article 84 [legal proceedings] right now because that means we can keep working on the issue,” Benjamin said. But he added, “I am sure the legal file is ready.”

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