Emissions from fuels used for international aviation and maritime transport (international bunker fuels)

Background

Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport have been addressed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process since the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP). At its first meeting in 1995 (Berlin, Germany, March/April 1995), the COP requested the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to address the issue of allocation and control of emissions from international bunker fuels and to report on this work to COP 2 (Decision 4/CP.1).

In response to this request, emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport have been continuously addressed under the SBSTA (chronological development>>).
In addition the Kyoto Protocol addresses emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport in its Article 2, paragraph 2. Article 2.2 of the Kyoto Protocol states that the Parties included in Annex I shall pursue limitation or reduction of emissions of greenhouse gas emissions not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), respectively.

In accordance with the IPCC Guidelines for the preparation of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories, emissions from international aviation and maritime transport (also known as international bunker fuel emissions) should be calculated as part of the national GHG inventories of Parties, but should be excluded from national totals and reported separately. These emissions are not subject to the limitation and reduction commitments of Annex I Parties under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.

Previously, in the context of paragraph 1b(iv) of the Bali Action Plan, emissions from international bunker fuels has been a subject of discussions under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).

Recent developments under the UNFCCC process

 Reports by the SBSTA

SBSTA 46 Bonn, Germany,
May 2017 

noted the information received from the secretariats of ICAO and IMO on their relevant work and invited them to report, at future sessions of the SBSTA, on the outcomes of their work on this issue (FCCC/SBSTA/2017/4, paragraphs 93-95) 

SBSTA 45 
Marrakech, Morocco, 
Nov. 2016

noted the information received from the secretariats of ICAO and IMO on their relevant work and invited them to report, at future sessions of the SBSTA, on the outcomes of their work on this issue (FCCC/SBSTA/2016/4, paragraphs 71-73) 

SBSTA 44
Bonn, Germany, 
May 2016 

noted the information received from the secretariats of ICAO and IMO on their relevant work and invited them to report, at future sessions of the SBSTA, on the outcomes of their work on this issue (FCCC/SBSTA/2016/2, paragraphs 68-70) 

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Submissions received by the secretariats of ICAO and IMO

SBSTA 48 Bonn, Germany,
Apr./May 2018

Submission by ICAO

Submission by IMO

SBSTA 47 Bonn, Germany,
November 2017

 Submission by ICAO, 31 Oct. 2017 

 Submission by IMO, 31 Oct. 2017 




 

 

 


 

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Cooperation with ICAO and IMO

The COP with its decisions 4/CP.1, 18/CP.5, Article 2.2 of the Kyoto Protocol as well as the SBSTA with a number of decisions (more >>) are recognizing the important role of ICAO and IMO in limiting and reducing GHG emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport and highlight the importance of cooperation between ICAO, IMO and the UNFCCC secretariat.

The UNFCCC secretariat maintains close relations with the secretariats of ICAO and IMO. Cooperation between the three organizations is based on an efficient reciprocal exchange of information. The secretariats of ICAO and IMO have been continuously providing reports and information on relevant work to the SBSTA and organized several expert meetings to address methodological issues relating to the estimation, compilation and reporting of GHG emissions data from international aviation and maritime transport (more information provided by the secretariats of ICAO and IMO).

International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAO is the specialized agency of the United Nations to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection. Addressing climate change forms a vital element of the work of ICAO's Environment Branch (more on ICAO's activities to address global climate change).

International Maritime Organization
IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is IMO's senior technical body on marine pollution related matters. The limitation and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping forms a vital element of the work of IMO's Marine Environment Division (more on IMO's activities to address global climate change).