ICAO’s CAEP/11 met recently—what did they decide about CO2?

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ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection

Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection

Standards for CO2 driving technology development

Basket of Measures for Environmental Protection

ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) met in Montreal in January to address a number of issues, including adoption of new Stage 4 aircraft noise standards. CAEP has 22 members representing States worldwide – with input from 15 observers representing States, industry and NGOs. ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu established the significance of the CAEP/11 meeting by reminding the participants thatthe global importance of environmental protection has grown immensely over recent decades, and with it the significance and relevance of the work of ICAO in minimizing the effects of global civil aviation on the environment.”

The ICAO President told the audience of the historical context of their work–CAEP history began in 1983 and since then the ICAO Member States have been pursuing a long-term environmental strategy aimed at limiting or reducing the number of global citizens affected by significant aircraft noise, the impact of aviation emissions on local air quality, and the effects of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.

He stressed to them that the ICAO Basket of Measures for Environmental Protection includes activities and solutions focused on

new airframe and engine technologies,

more streamlined operations,

sustainable aviation fuels,

and

global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA.

Dr. Aliu stated that while the world appreciates the significant progress made in all of these areas, the expectations are for more. He congratulated the CAEP for its recent work leading to the ICAO Council’s June 2018 adoption of the new Volume IV of Annex 16 to the Chicago Convention on CORSIA.

The Council President stressed that the ICAO Council was looking forward “to the outcome of your discussions here on the CORSIA emission units and its Technical Advisory Body (TAB), as well as on important issues concerning the sustainability criteria for CORSIA eligible fuels, and lastly its sustainability certification schemes.”

While the results of the two weeks of meetings have not been released by ICAO, here are some of the predictions of what might happen:

Agree to a CO standard which will be applied prospectively (new aircraft designs and for in-production aircraft; any application for a TC will be dependent on a showing of meeting this CAEP environmental standard),

Yet to be decided in some precision

 the threshold weight of aircraft[1] to which the standard should apply

the stringency levels, or options (SO), that should be applied.

The effective date for the CO2 standard sometime between 2020 and 2023

Dr. Aliu’s Basket of Measures is expected to drive efficiencies in aircraft and engine technologies.

The pre-conference positions on the proposals ranged:

  • The airlines trade association strongly supports the CO2 standard, so said IATA Senior Vice President Paul Steele. While the carriers expect to increase their schedules, there are operational and existing ameliorations already being implemented. The new standards will accelerate the level of fuel efficiency of the engines beyond the immediate into the midterm and beyond period for delivering significant environmental benefits.

 

  • The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), a group representative of the NGOs, seeking the highest stringency level of SO10. Some of these organizations have criticized the EU over its lower level of ambition for the standard, which they claim would result in up to 400 mega tonnes of additional CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2040 that could be avoided with a higher stringency level. They blame the weaker EU position on lobbying by Airbus and say it potentially leaves Europe to take the blame if an environmentally ineffective standard is agreed by CAEP and would be “a betrayal of European climate ambition and run directly counter to everything that Europe so rightly achieved last month in Paris.

  • “A study prepared by Oeko-Institut for the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) says higher stringency levels require more advanced technology and more sophisticated design, so leading to potentially higher prices airlines will have to pay for their aircraft. This would have to be balanced, it says, by fuel and cost savings due to higher efficiency during operation of the aircraft.”

  •  “The United States is suggesting a stringency level of SO8 to SO9 – the highest being SO10 – for both in-production and new aircraft types, according to CAEP working papers seen by Oeko-Institut. The US level of ambition is largely driven by government pressure following recent action over aviation emissions from the US Environmental Protection Agency (see article). The EU is suggesting a level of SO7 for new types over 60 tonnes MTOM. Aircraft and engine manufacturers are seeking much lower SO levels for in-production models (SO2) and levels of SO5 and SO6 for new types. Oeko-Institut says an impact analysis shows the optimal stringency level in which additional investment costs are in balance with fuel savings is around SO8.”

Release of the papers from the meeting in Montreal will allow greater comprehension of what the CAEP/11 really decided. ICAO’s processes grind exceedingly slow and with incredible granularity. What standards, applicable to what aircraft and when will likely be revealed, or at least a trial balloon.

[1] Such as–above and below 60 tons of maximum take-off mass (MTOM), although the aircraft and engine manufacturers association ICCAIA, a CAEP observer, is pushing for a higher threshold of 70.265 tons.



 

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