The Week Ahead: Countries to Discuss Control of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Aviation


With Congress out of session until April 8 for spring state and district work periods, the energy and climate focus for the week of March 25 will be on a high-level international meeting on aviation emissions, an Environmental Protection Agency seminar on energy efficiency subsidies, and a meeting in California to discuss sea-level rise.

High-Level Aviation Group to Meet

A global system to control greenhouse gas emissions from aviation will be discussed by the High-Level Group on International Aviation and Climate Change during a meeting March 25-27 in Montreal.

As detailed in a March 12 Energy and Climate Reportarticle, the European Union provisionally agreed to exempt until 2014 flights into and out of the bloc from its Emissions Trading System (ETS) after countries, including the United States, China, and India, protested the mandatory inclusion of airlines.

The high-level group, comprised of representatives from 17 countries, was formed to examine two possible alternatives for addressing aviation emissions. One option is a single global system of mandatory carbon offsets or emissions trading, which would be adopted by all member countries in the International Civil Aviation Organization. The second option is a more flexible system that would allow member countries to implement their own market-based measures.

As covered in a Nov. 27, 2012, article, President Obama signed a bill (Pub. L. No. 112-200) that would authorize the transportation secretary to prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the EU ETS.

EPA Seminar

The Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental Economics will hold a seminar March 26 in Washington, D.C., on "Free Riders and the High Cost of Energy Efficiency Subsidies." According to EPA, large energy efficiency subsidies have not been found to be cost-effective. 

 California Council to Meet

The California Ocean Protection Council will meet March 27 in Sacramento to discuss ocean acidification and hypoxia, updated sea-level rise guidance, grant criteria to help local governments adapt to sea-level rise and associated climate change impacts along the coast, and other ocean-related items.

Climate, Energy Webinars

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a webinar March 27 on "Climate Communication: Tools and Tips" featuring Susan Joy Hassol, director of Climate Communications Science and Outreach, a nonprofit organization. 

Framework, an energy and sustainability consulting group, will hold a webinar March 27 on integrated reporting, a form of corporate disclosure that connects financial reporting with environmental, social, and governance performance.

Greenbiz will host a webinar March 26 on how companies are using data to make buildings more efficient. The featured speakers are Mark Henderickson, director of Panoptix® operations for Johnson Controls, and John Doyle, a director of product marketing for Microsoft Corp.