Fossil of the Day: ICAO

While countries are discussing how to implement the Paris Agreement to avert the worst impacts of climate change, the UN aviation body, The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is having their own conversation on climate. The 36 members of ICAO’s Council have preferred to do it in private so they can make their own rules on their carbon market and alternative fuel sustainability criteria without making too much fuss.

Who wants to complicate the discussions, anyway? When it comes to carbon offsets and biofuels, the aviation industry must be deciding that it is easier to just accept them all and deal with the environmental and social consequences later.

 ECO is pretty impressed with the speed at which ICAO is checking off rules for their climate measures. We are going to have to figure out how to adapt when airlines start buying offsets and biofuels from countries with Paris pledges. Parties are counting all their emission reductions towards their climate targets. If airlines are claiming those same reductions for themselves then two targets are claiming one emission reduction. Doesn’t that invalidate one of the targets? We haven’t come up with any rules for dealing with that here yet … slow down ICAO you’re making us look bad!

It’s really too bad we can’t see what’s going on in ICAO’s climate discussions right now – we heard that they end on the same day as the COP. I’m sure there are plenty of issues that relate to what we’re working on here: Markets, accounting, land use and food security discussions. This fossil is for the 36 ICAO Council countries that won’t show us their homework on the offsets and biofuels they plan to use. Perhaps they’re worried they might get a failing grade.