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ICAO forms environmental policy group

By control on November 16, 2012

The International Civil Aviation Organization has formed a high-level group in an effort to create a global, market-based approach to combating carbon emissions. The development comes on the heels of the European Union's decision to delay their airline emissions trading scheme by one year.

The high-level group, which will deliver its plan and an accompanying feasibility report by ICAO's triennial assembly in October, will include senior government officials. The membership — which, according to a press release, will include all levels of international civil aviation authorities — will be finalized soon.

According to the press release announcing the new group, "Based on the encouraging results of the ICAO Council meeting on 9 November — and the constructive engagement of its international partners in relevant discussions — ICAO has welcomed the recent announcement by EU Climate Action Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, that Europe’s governing body will 'stop the clock' when it comes to enforcement of the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS to and from non-European countries."

Recently, Emirates Air Lines' Ram Menen commented that a comprehensive and inclusive plan to reduce carbon emissions is the right step forward, but the EU ETS was not the right answer to the problem.

“We’re not opposed to a common and global kind of charge. But then we would expect that whatever taxes are collected would go into improving the aviation infrastructure," Menen said, noting that the EU wouldn't have put money it collected through the ETS back into aviation. "It’s a tax with no returns to aviation.”

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