By September 2, 2016 Read More →

Major nations urge China to back aviation emissions pact -source

aviation emissions

The aviation emissions deal would require carriers in participating countries to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects. photo.

Chinese participation critical to success of aviation emissions pact

By Allison Lampert and David Stanway

MONTREAL/SHANGHAI, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Major countries are urging China to join the start of a U.N.-brokered deal to limit carbon emissions from international flights because its participation is seen as essential to hitting targets, according to an Asian source familiar with the talks.

The talks are being led by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Montreal-based United Nations agency meets Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 to try and finalize the deal, which has been approved as a draft but has not yet been made public.

Europe and the United States want the deal to cover 80 percent of the rise in emissions from international flights after 2020, two other sources familiar with the regions’ thinking said.

China has said it wants “developed countries” to take the lead and it may not yet commit to joining in order to retain negotiating power for ICAO’s autumn assembly, the first source said.

The three sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the emissions talks are confidential.

Environmental groups said they are hoping to see China participate, possibly even agreeing to back the deal at this weekend’s G20 gathering in Hangzhou. China is hosting the G20 summit for the first time.

“China has showed that it wants to be a leader on climate change so it will be critical that they continue their positive moves by joining in efforts to reduce aviation’s growing climate pollution problem,” said Jake Schmidt, international director for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington.

Aviation was excluded from last December’s climate accord in Paris.

A joint statement from the United States and China from the G20 gathering is expected on Saturday to send a strong signal favoring an aviation emissions deal, said Li Shuo, climate advisor with environmental group Greenpeace in Beijing. It’s not yet clear, however, whether China will join the deal’s voluntary phases from 2021 to 2026.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China would not comment on the ICAO draft, which would make the deal mandatory for aviation powerhouses like the U.S. and China in 2027.

The market-based plan must win the support of ICAO member states, or risk the European Union breaking off talks and imposing its own emissions trading system on international airlines in 2017.

The global deal, which the airline industry supports, would require carriers in participating countries to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

(Reporting Allison Lampert in Montreal, David Stanway in Shanghai, Valerie Volcovici in Washington D.C. and Victoria Bryan in Berlin; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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