In Montreal on December 12th and 13th, advisors to President Barak Obama will be participating in a meeting intended to put measures in place to curb airline emissions. This meeting comes after a tense stand-off between non-EU nations and the European Union over a law to include all airlines that use EU airports in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
The tension has escalated to the point of threats of a trade war, and there is currently a one year freeze of the EU law. The law will be reinstated if the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) fails to reach agreement.
The December meeting will be followed by one in January 2013 and another in the March/April 2013 timeframe.
The involvement of the Obama administration may facilitate a deal within the ICAO. Obama’s senior climate officials might have the pull to lower the tensions between EU and non-EU countries long enough to broker an agreement. On the panel will be Michael Froman, the chief White House economic adviser who went to Harvard Law School with the president. Froman has extensive involvement in high-level energy and climate forums. He was also involved in the climate change talks in Copenhagen in 2009.
Aviation officials from Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates will also be on December’s panel. If successful in its intent, the panel will determine the set-up of a global market-based mechanism to deter emissions.
Obama noted after this reelection that he felt he did not do enough for the climate during his last term in office and intends for his administration to be more involved during his second term. Experts are hoping his team’s involvement will lead to an ICAO agreement.