An analysis of options for including international aviation and marine emissions in a post-2012 climate mitigation regime

25-04-2007 | Publication

Including international aviation and marine emissions in national/regional reduction targets is more cost-effective than excluding them, or regulating them via sector-specific policies. This is one of the main conclusions of a study that analyses national/regional allocation options for including these so-called bunker emissions in a post-2012 climate mitigation regime.

International transport emissions need to be included in a post-2012 climate mitigation policy

The problem of unregulated international transport emissions

International aviation and shipping is projected to contribute significantly to international greenhouse gas emissions. These fast-growing international aviation and marine emissions are however not (yet) regulated by international policies under neither the UNFCCC nor its Kyoto Protocol.

Analysis of allocation options of international transport emissions to countries

In this analysis of options for including these so-called bunker emissions in a future greenhouse gas mitigation regime, particular attention was paid to two national/regional allocation options that seem to be the most practical from a policy perspective. These are:

  • allocation according to nationality/registration;
  • allocation according to destination.

Evaluated were both the consequences of allocating the bunker emissions under a post-Kyoto climate mitigation regime for the national/regional reduction targets and the limited potential for reducing bunker emissions. Two scenarios are presented in the report:

  • a baseline scenario for future bunker emissions up to 2050;
  • a CO2 mitigation scenario for the international transport sector, based on enhanced energy efficiency improvement and the use of biofuels.

The national/regional responsibilities under various allocation options were also analysed and the implications for mitigation targets in other sectors explored.

International transport emissions need to be included in a post-2012 climate mitigation policy

One of the main findings from the analysis described here is that including international transport emissions in national/regional reduction targets would seem to be more cost-effective than excluding them. Neither would regulating them in sector-specific policy be more cost-effective. Inclusion in an international emissions trading scheme would provide the international transport sector the opportunity to compensate their emissions by purchasing emission reductions from other sectors instead of having to reduce their own emissions that are either very limited or very expensive.