1. Why ICAO decided to develop a global MBM scheme for international aviation?


​Environmental Protection is one of the ICAO's Strategic Objectives. ICAO has been working in this area since the late 1960s, first focusing on the establishment of international policies and standards related to aircraft noise, but gradually expanding to other subject areas such as local air quality and subsequently climate change.

According to most recent figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), aviation (domestic and international) accounts for approximately 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions produced by human activity; international aviation is responsible for approximately 1.3 per cent of global CO2 emissions.

Significant technological progress has been made in the aviation sector, with aircraft produced today being about 80 per cent more fuel efficient per passenger kilometre than in the 1960s.

However, aviation emissions are forecasted to grow in the coming decades, as the projected annual improvements in aircraft fuel efficiency of around 1 to 2 per cent are largely surpassed by forecasted traffic growth of around 5 per cent per year. Based on the environmental trend assessment by the ICAO Council's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), international aviation fuel consumption is estimated to grow somewhere between 2.8 to 3.9 times by 2040 compared to the 2010 levels. For further details on the CAEP assessment, please refer to Assembly Working Paper A39-WP/55 presented to the 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly.

In October 2013, the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly adopted Resolution A38-18, which resolved that ICAO and its Member States, with relevant organizations, would work together to strive to achieve a collective medium term global aspirational goal of keeping the global net CO2 emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level (so-called "carbon neutral growth from 2020"). The Assembly also defined a basket of measures designed to help achieve the ICAO's global aspirational goal. This basket includes aircraft technologies such as lighter airframes, higher engine performance and new certification standards, operational improvements (e.g. improved ground operations and air traffic management), sustainable alternative fuels, and market-based measures (MBMs).

The aggregate environmental benefit achieved by non-MBMs measures will be insufficient for the international aviation sector to reach its aspirational goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. A global MBM scheme complements a broader package of measures to achieve the aspirational goal. This is a preferred approach than having a patchwork of r​egional and local measures that are not harmonized and could create inefficiencies in the system without any certainty of delivering environmental benefits.
  • What is a “market-based measure (MBM)”?

  • What was the request from the 2013 ICAO Assembly on a global MBM scheme?

  • What was the process and actions taken since the 2013 ICAO Assembly to develop a global MBM scheme?


    Since the 2013 Assembly, the ICAO Council has established the Environment Advisory Group (EAG), which was composed of 17 Council Representatives and representatives from IATA. The EAG, under the direction of the Council, was mandated to oversee all the work related to the development of a global MBM scheme and make recommendations to the Council. The EAG pursued progress, starting with a "Strawman" approach, in which a basic proposal for a global offsetting scheme was tabled with a view to generating discussion and analyses for improvements.

    The EAG met 15 times in total from March 2014 to January 2016, and was supported in its technical and analytical work by the Council's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). A series of analyses requested by the EAG and the Council were undertaken by CAEP, including:

    • Volumes of future CO2 emissions from international aviation and overall cost impacts to achieve the carbon neutral growth from 2020;
    • Cost impacts of using different combinations for individual operator's growth factor and the international aviation sector's growth factor;
    • Various approaches for distribution of offsetting requirements to individual aircraft operators (e.g., route-based approach, accumulative approach, and comparison of these approaches); and
    • Adjustments of offsetting requirements, technical exemptions and exemptions of routes to/from low emitting States.
    In addition, work on technical aspects of the global MBM scheme (e.g. monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); emissions units criteria (EUC) and registries) was also undertaken by CAEP, in support of the discussion by the EAG and Council.

    The EAG/15 meeting in January 2016 considered a draft Assembly Resolution text on a global MBM scheme, which was developed by taking into account the progress achieved and views expressed during previous EAG deliberations.

    The EAG/15 meeting recommended, and the Council endorsed, that a High-level Group on a Global MBM Scheme (HLG-GMBM) be established to facilitate the convergence of views in order to finalize draft Assembly Resolution text on a global MBM scheme, for consideration by the Council. The HLG-GMBM was composed of 18 high-level aviation and/or transport representatives, and met twice (24 to 25 February and 13 to 15 April 2016) and made progress in improving and clarifying a number of provisions in the draft Assembly Resolution text.

    Based on the results of the HLG-GMBM, the Council in April 2016 decided on the draft Assembly Resolution text on a global MBM scheme, to be presented for consideration of the High-level Meeting on a Global MBM Scheme (HLM-GMBM) held at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal, Canada from 11 to 13 May 2016.

    The High-level Meeting focused on deliberations on draft Assembly Resolution text on a global MBM scheme and clarified and improved a number of provisions in the draft text, while it recognized a number of concerns and possible alternative approaches and ideas, in particular for paragraphs related to phased implementation and distribution of offsetting requirements. The Meeting encouraged Member States to continue bilateral and multilateral consultations to bridge their views and find possible compromise text.

    The Friends of the President Informal Group Meeting was convened in Montréal, Canada from 22 to 23 August 2016 to consider the results of the bilateral and multilateral consultations by Member States related to the draft Assembly Resolution text, with a view to developing compromise text for consideration by the Council. Based on the outcome of bilateral and multilateral consultations that had taken place prior to the meeting, a new approach for the phased implementation was presented and well-received by the meeting: voluntary participation by States in the pilot phase and first phase, followed by the second phase in which all other States except for exempted ones will participate. The meeting focused on how to operationalize the approach, and the results of the meeting were reported to the Council on 26 August 2016, where the draft Assembly Resolution text was approved for submission to the 39th Session of the Assembly.
  • What was the role of the two rounds of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) on MBMs in 2015 and 2016?

  • Why were internation​al aviation emissions not included in the Paris Agreement at COP 21?

  • What was the process and actions taken so far since the adoption of CORSIA at the 2016 ICAO Assembly?

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