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Secrecy at UN body seeking to cut global airline emissions

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Critics attack secrecy at UN body seeking to cut global airline emissions

'A UN body tasked with cutting global aircraft emissions is covertly meeting this week for discussions dominated by airline industry observers.

The environment committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meets on Monday in Montreal behind closed doors to discuss measures to reduce emissions from international aircraft. Domestic and international flights emitted 895m tonnes of CO2 last year – 2.4% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, according to Carbon Brief. In terms of emissions, if aviation were a country it would be the sixth largest in the world.

But the body in charge of reducing the carbon footprint of international aviation has little or no public scrutiny. Its agenda and discussion documents are not released to the public or the international press, and the meetings are not open to the media. Anyone who leaks documents being discussed faces “unlimited liability for confidentiality breaches”, according to ICAO rules.

Key observers at Monday’s meeting of the committee on aviation and environmental protection (CAEP) are a number of industry bodies. They include the International Business Aviation Council, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, the Arab Civil Aviation Commission, the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, the Airports Council International and the International Air Transport Association. The only non-governmental body not linked to the airline industry allowed into the meeting is the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, made up of a small group of international environmental NGOs.'

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