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UN Plans for Aviation Biofuels and Carbon Offsets Condemned by 88 Organisations Worldwide

June 11, 2018


June 11, 2018

Media Contact:
Frédéric Mousseau, the Oakland Institute, [email protected], +1 510-512-5458 (USA)
Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, +44-1316232600 (UK)
Nele Marien, Friends of the Earth International, +32-488652153 (Belgium)

Oakland — 88 organisations from 35 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme”.

An Open Letter warns that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in their tanks in order to meet greenhouse gas targets – even though member states rejected biofuel targets last autumn amidst concerns about palm oil.

“Palm oil is one of the main drivers of land grabbing and deforestation worldwide, which is a major cause of carbon emissions. Our research shows that encouraging airlines to burn biofuels will have dire human and environmental consequences,” said Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, one of the signatories of the open letter.

Proposed biofuel targets for aircraft were rejected by member states in October 2017, but groups fear that the proposed new rules will introduce large-scale biofuel use ‘by the backdoor’.

Nele Mariën from Friends of the Earth International highlights the groups’ concerns about the second part of the UN proposal - carbon offsetting for airlines: “There is no way of reaching the goal to limit global warming to 1.5oC unless all states and sectors rapidly phase out their carbon emissions. This means that there can be no role for offsets”.

The Open Letter urges member states to reject the biofuel and offsetting plans and to end and reverse the growth in aviation.

Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch explains: “Biofuels and carbon offsetting are dangerous attempts at conning consumers and the public by greenwashing an industry which is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. The UN and its members need to tackle aviation growth if they are serious about preventing the worst impacts of climate change.”



For more information: Read the report Eco-Skies: The Global Rush for Aviation Biofuel