Airlines could get all of the 3.3 billion offsets they are expected to need over 2021-2035 from CDM projects that already exist, a study by Germany’s Oeko Institut said on Thursday.
The study compared the expected demand and found that currently registered CDM projects could supply 6.5 billion offsets over the same period.
Though after excluding offsets from contentious project types it recommended be excluded – most types of thermal power, large hydro, most industrial gases, LULUCF, biomass, and wind projects – this drops to 1.2 billion, which it said would still be enough to meet airline demand for ten years.
“The Oeko Institut research importantly dispels the myth that there are supply constraints when using only high quality credits.” said Kat Watts of environmental campaigners Carbon Market Watch.
- Countries have agreed to let UN aviation body ICAO craft a global offsetting mechanism by 2016 to take effect from 2020 and help the sector achieve both carbon neutral growth and a 50% cut in emissions on 2010 levels by 2050.
- Analysts predict the expanding aviation sector will need around 30 million offsets in 2021, increasing each year to around 300 million by 2030.
- Offset supply is currently plentiful. CDM developers are desperately seeking new buyers for hundreds of millions of already-issued carbon credits amid a dearth of demand from governments, which has pushed CER prices from above €20 to unprofitable levels below €1 over the past six years.
- It is unclear how the CDM and its offsets will be available to airlines after 2020, when a new UN global climate pact due to be signed this year requires all major-emitting nations to take on emission reduction goals, including CDM host nations.
- In an effort to guarantee ready supply, airline body IATA is pushing for multiple offset standards to be eligible while green groups are keen to limit eligibility to high quality projects.
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By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org