As the news sinks in that the Conservatives are joining forces with a party whose former environmental minister deemed climate change a “con”, and that “reluctant green” Michael Gove, who once attempted to wipe climate change from the school curriculum, takes over as Environment Secretary, we take a look across the pond at how Trump’s recent decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement will impact the country’s aviation emissions.
On Thursday 1st June, it was announced that Trump would be withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement, a global commitment to combat climate change signed by world leaders in December 2015. This gave rise to questions about whether the President would also seek to back out of the voluntary phase of the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), a global agreement approved by 191 countries, including the United States, to curb greenhouse gases from aviation.
Under the Paris Agreement, states pledged to deliver national emission reductions targets which include the CO2 emissions from their domestic flights. CORSIA, established under a different UN process, attempts to fill a gap, addressing the emissions from aircraft flying between countries, which represent nearly 60% of aviation’s total global emissions. Under the deal, airlines will be able to purchase carbon credits from environmental projects to offset emissions from international flights that exceed the sector’s 2020 level. Mandatory from 2027, over 70 states have already opted to participate in the voluntary phrase from 2021 – 2026, covering around 80% of international aviation activity.
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