Moving towards the future: Climate Agreements

Aviation made agreements at both the European and international levels to reduce CO₂ emissions several years ago. The European emissions trading system have also applied to airlines since 2012. For flights within Europe, rights must be purchased to emit emissions. For international flights, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has made agreements with 74 countries. Growth of the airlines of these countries must be CO₂ neutral by 2020. In the meantime, the Dutch aviation sector is not standing still.

In 2018, the Dutch aviation sector presented their ‘Smart and Sustainable’ plan. This describes how the sector wants to reduce emissions to 2005-levels by 2030. These are very concrete measures. The Sustainable Aviation Draft Agreement was presented in March 2019, with agreements to make Dutch aviation and airports emission-free.

Smart and Sustainable – an action plan for Dutch aviation

The 'Smart and Sustainable (Slim en Duurzaam) document gives an overview of all the measures to reduce CO2 levels in the air and soil. In-air measures include the optimisation of flight paths, use of synthetic or biofuels, electric flying or the transfer to the train for short distances. All these measures use less fossil fuels and therefore have less CO2 emissions.

Sustainable Aviation – the draft agreement

The Ontwerpakkoord Duurzame Luchtvaart (Sustainable Aviation Draft Agreement) document was drawn up in March 2019 by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the aviation sector and research institutions. The document contains agreements to make Dutch aviation and airports emission-free. This document takes the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement and translates them to the Dutch aviation sector. The agreement will be final when the government publishes the Luchtvaartnota (Aviation Policy Document, due end of 2019/beginning of 2020).

Paris Climate Agreement

In the Paris Climate Agreement, it was agreed to limit CO2 emissions: 49% less CO2 by 2030 and 95% less CO2 by 2050. International flights are exempt from the agreement because separate negotiations were conducted by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). Domestic flights and ground-based activities do fall within the Paris Agreement, such as car traffic at the airport, the arrival and departure halls, and the cargo buildings.

A different way to travel

A large number of companies, including ABN AMRO, ANWB, Eneco, Philips, PwC, Royal Schiphol Group, Strukton and Vattenfall have jointly formulated concrete measures to reduce the impact of their business air traffic. They will compensate for the CO2 of business air traffic with CO2 certificates and invest in new technologies such as electric/hybrid flying or synthetic fuels, among other measures.