| MONTREAL/SHANGHAI, Sept 2
MONTREAL/SHANGHAI, Sept 2 Major countries are
urging China to join the start of a U.N.-brokered deal to limit
carbon emissions from international flights because its
participation is seen as essential to hitting targets, according
to an Asian source familiar with the talks.
The talks are being led by the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO). The Montreal-based United Nations agency
meets Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 to try and finalize the deal, which has
been approved as a draft but has not yet been made public.
Europe and the United States want the deal to cover 80
percent of the rise in emissions from international flights
after 2020, two other sources familiar with the regions'
China has said it wants "developed countries" to take the
lead and it may not yet commit to joining in order to retain
negotiating power for ICAO's autumn assembly, the first source
The three sources spoke on condition of anonymity because
the emissions talks are confidential.
Environmental groups said they are hoping to see China
participate, possibly even agreeing to back the deal at this
weekend's G20 gathering in Hangzhou. China is hosting the G20
summit for the first time.
"China has showed that it wants to be a leader on climate
change so it will be critical that they continue their positive
moves by joining in efforts to reduce aviation's growing climate
pollution problem," said Jake Schmidt, international director
for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington.
Aviation was excluded from last December's climate accord in
A joint statement from the United States and China from the
G20 gathering is expected on Saturday to send a strong signal
favoring an aviation emissions deal, said Li Shuo, climate
advisor with environmental group Greenpeace in Beijing. It's not
yet clear, however, whether China will join the deal's voluntary
phases from 2021 to 2026.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China would not comment
on the ICAO draft, which would make the deal mandatory for
aviation powerhouses like the U.S. and China in 2027.
The market-based plan must win the support of ICAO member
states, or risk the European Union breaking off talks and
imposing its own emissions trading system on international
airlines in 2017.
The global deal, which the airline industry supports, would
require carriers in participating countries to limit their
emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from
designated environmental projects around the world.
(Reporting Allison Lampert in Montreal, David Stanway in
Shanghai, Valerie Volcovici in Washington D.C. and Victoria
Bryan in Berlin; Editing by Marguerita Choy)