The International Civil Aviation Organization has started an environmental project with the Indonesian government to improve the sustainability of Indonesian air transport.
ICAO's technical cooperation bureau will help the government devise a long-term plan to combat carbon emissions while also focusing on immediate changes to lower the spread of greenhouse gases.
The agreement is all part of ICAO's goal to help member states create a cleaner, more sustainable aviation industry. ICAO and the Indonesian government will create a master plan for emissions improvements, help make airspace design more efficient, and provide guidance on alternative fuels, among other measures.
“This is an important time for Indonesian aviation, notably, as air transport capacity globally and especially here in the Asia/Pacific region is projected to expand significantly over the next two decades," Bambang Susantono, Indonesia’s vice minister of transportation, said in a statement. “To manage this growth responsibly, Indonesia was keenly aware that we would need to develop and adopt more meaningful emissions control legislation and initiatives,” he continued. “ICAO-TCB’s experience and knowledge of what works at the global, regional and local levels will be invaluable to us as we proceed with these programs.”
ICAO has been working toward a market-based solution to controlling global aviation emissions for some time, spurred on by the European Union's oft-maligned emissions trading scheme. The European Commission recently expressed its desire to put a hold on the scheme, which places a cap on the emissions of all airlines flying into Europe, and the EU Council of Ministers will officially vote on the decision next month. In all likelihood, the program, which would have effectively charged airlines for flying into Europe, will be suspended for one year, so ICAO can develop its own system.
Last month, European Parliament members expressed their desire to "stop the clock" on the EU ETS in favor of working toward a global program.
"The European Union wants an international solution,” parliament member Peter Liese said in a statement at the time. “There are no more excuses for third countries not to engage in the issue. Third countries have given the impression that it is the European Union that stands in the way, but we shall see if they have enough commitment.”
ICAO has already formed a high-level committee to look into a global climate change solution. The entire organization is expected to work toward a solution during its general assembly in September. - Jon Ross