LEIPZIG, Germany, May 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today met with Mr. Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Transport. They discussed the European Union Emissions Trading System and the Canada-European Union Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement. Minister Lebel and Vice-President Kallas were attending the International Transport Forum's 2012 summit in Leipzig.
The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) was created in 2005 to reduce greenhouse gases. As of January 1, 2012, the EU ETS applies to the aviation industry, including foreign aircraft operators flying to or from the European Union. As such, all emissions from aircraft entering or leaving Europe are subject to the EU ETS, including those that are released over the high seas and in countries outside the European Union. For example, a Canadian air carrier departing from Paris for Toronto is subject to EU ETS for the entire flight.
Canada maintains that it is inconsistent with international aviation law for the EU ETS to apply to emissions released by non-European Union air carriers outside the European Union's airspace, an issue that Minister Lebel raised with his counterpart today.
"Canada continues to work with the international community on a global approach to managing international aviation," said Minister Lebel. "We believe the International Civil Aviation Organization is the appropriate forum to address international aviation emissions, and I expressed this to Vice-President Kallas today."
Canada has been actively engaged in the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO's) efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. In October 2010, ICAO adopted Resolution A37-19 on climate change. The resolution set several voluntary goals for international aviation emissions, including:
- a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2 per cent until 2020;
- a global aspirational annual fuel efficiency improvement goal of 2 per cent from 2021 to 2050; and
- a medium-term aspirational goal of keeping the global net carbon emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level.
Canada is working with industry to develop an action plan to respond to these goals. It intends to submit the action plan to ICAO by mid-2012.
With respect to greenhouse gas emissions from international maritime shipping, Minister Lebel expressed Canada's view that the most appropriate forum to address the question is the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Canada encourages the European Union to work on this issue together with the rest of the international community through the IMO to achieve mutual goals.
During their meeting, Minister Lebel and Vice-President Kallas also discussed the Canada-European Union Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, which came into effect on July 26, 2011. Under the agreement, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada work cooperatively to resolve safety issues relating to civil aviation. The EASA has also agreed to recognize certification of Canadian aviation products and services, allowing the Canadian aviation industry to remain competitive in the European market.
The International Transport Forum's annual summit brings together 53 countries and over 800 participants, including transportation ministers, experts, researchers, business leaders and members of the international media. It aims to find solutions to global transport-related issues and foster a deeper understanding of the integral role transportation plays in the world economy. The broad range of participants makes the forum unique among multilateral organizations.
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Click here for details of Minister Lebel's media availability at the conclusion of the summit.
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