Climate Action

Jos Delbeke's speech during the conference "A New Flightplan

Jos Delbeke

During the conference "A New Flightplan - Getting global aviation climate measures off the ground", that took place on 7 February, Director-General for Climate Action Jos Delbeke has made the following speech:

"Climate change is an urgent problem. Countries have agreed that average global temperature increases should be kept below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. There is no single silver bullet, and to achieve the very substantial limitation of emissions that is scientifically considered necessary, all sectors of the economy should contribute.

CO2 emissions from the aviation sector have been growing rapidly: By 2020, global international aviation emissions are projected to be around 70% higher than 2005 levels, even with 2% per year fuel efficiency improvement, and according to forecasts they could further grow by up to 700% by 2050. It is more than logical that there is a contribution from the aviation sector.

Europe has been pursuing a comprehensive approach, including a major modernisation of our airspace management and research and development of clean aviation technology. This includes market based measures to meet our climate objectives, and to enable the aviation industry to grow.

This did not happen overnight. ICAO has long recognised the role market-based measures can play in achieving environmental goals cost-efficiently and in a flexible manner, and the EU legislation including aviation in the EU's emission trading system was developed in line with the approach explicitly endorsed by ICAO in 2004. At that time, ICAO decided not to establish a single global emissions trading system under UN auspices but rather to focus on other avenues such as implementation through inclusion in States' trading systems. In 2004, we got the clear guidance that this was the approach to be followed. The EU's action is designed to be non-discriminatory and cost-effective way to limit emissions.