What the climate agreement means for aviation: Climate Change Platforms

The Paris Agreement includes a pledge to limit CO2 emissions. In addition to this, most ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) participating countries have made explicit agreements to halve the CO2 emissions from aircraft by 2050 in comparison with 2005. From 2020, airlines’ growth must be carbon neutral – initially on a voluntary basis.

Targets for more sustainable aviation

The majority of the aviation sector is working to meet the international targets agreed by the ICAO. One of the key agreements is that, as of 2020, airlines’ growth must be carbon neutral – this will initially be brought in as a voluntary measure. To ensure that the ICAO has the right insight into global CO2 emissions, from 2019 all airlines in participating countries will report their emissions to the ICAO. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management also submits the State Action Plan to the ICAO.

In the Netherlands, the Paris Agreement is being implemented with two targets: a 49% reduction in CO2 by 2030, compared to 1990, and a 95% reduction by 2050. These targets have been laid down in the Dutch Climate Act (Klimaatwet). The Dutch government has set up five Climate Change Platforms (klimaattafels) to make sure these targets are met. Government departments, the business world and knowledge institutions are working together to reduce emissions in each sector.

The Dutch aviation sector is also conducting research into the possibilities for its contribution to the Paris Agreement, which is why the Climate Change Platform for mobility has founded a secondary platform to focus on sustainable aviation. We are working with various actors from both within and outside the sector to draft an agreement. We hope to have that agreement ready by the end of November 2018.