The CDM’s Executive Board this week approved new emissions baseline and monitoring methodology for airlines to earn offsets, a potentially important step towards an eventual marriage between the global aviation sector and the embattled Kyoto scheme.
“This methodology will add an important tool to the aviation industry’s environmental toolbox,” said CDM-EB chair Lambert Schneider, who was promoted from vice-chair this week to head the board for the next year.
“We think it’s important to support the sector’s efforts to reduce emissions, and at the same time expand the usefulness of the CDM to address emissions from transport.”
Near-zero CER prices have pushed the CDM to the brink of irrelevance, but rumblings from ongoing negotiations within ICAO – the UN’s civil aviation body tasked with designing a global programme to cut the sector’s CO2 from 2020 – suggest the UN scheme may be an ideal partner.
Countries have agreed to let ICAO craft an offsetting system by 2016 to help the aviation sector achieve carbon neutral growth and a 50% cut in emissions on 2010 levels by 2050, and several sources have said that the CDM is seen by negotiators as a prime candidate to provide offset supply.
CDM methodology relating to the aviation sector lets airlines earn offsets through investing in new plane technology, rather than forcing them to seek credits from other sources in unrelated sectors.
The methodologies agreed by the board this week, however, relate to planes using less energy when taxiing, sourcing solar power when parked, and saving fuel through washing the engines, and as such are not expected to lead to a significant decrease in the sector’s growing emissions.
According to various estimates, aviation accounts for between 2% and 5% of global CO2 emissions.
The CDM-EB also launched work on new methodologies for projects in renewable energy, electrification and household energy supply, and adopted a standardized baseline for cutting methane emissions from rice cultivation in the Philippines, opening the door for more CDM project proposals from the under-represented agricultural sector.
The board also appointed Peru’s Eduardo Calvo, a professor at San Marcos University in Lima and advisor to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as EB vice-chair.
Calvo replaces Schneider, who takes over the chairmanship from Barbados’ Hugh Sealy.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org