A global market-based measure (GMBM) is set to be adopted by 191 countries after 20 years of international negotiations aimed at addressing emissions growth from international aviation during a two-week aviation summit in Montreal from 27 September to 7 October, 2016.
The Assembly convenes after over 60 countries ratified the landmark Paris Agreement. As the Paris Agreement transitions from aspiration to implementation, the outcome of this meeting in Montreal is a defining litmus test of international willingness to truly confront greenhouse gas emissions from the fast growing aviation sector. If aviation does not act, emissions from the sector are expected to soar from approximately 2% to 22% of CO2 alone by 2050.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN group charged with regulating aviation pollution, agreed to take action this year when they last convened in 2013. Because ICAO only convenes its Assembly once every three years, 2016 s a critical time for progress.
As the only environmental observer organisation representing civil society at ICAO, the International Coalition on Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) urges countries to use their next two weeks together to finalize and adopt an agreement that ensures strong environmental integrity and broad participation from the proposed 2021 start date.
ICSA released a previous statement and held a press call earlier this month expressing their concerns with the current text’s shortfalls. Based upon current voluntary commitments and expected exclusions, the GMBM is expected to require offsetting approximately three quarters of emissions growth after 2020, falling short of the ICAO goal of “carbon neutral growth” at 2020 emissions levels. That means absolute international aviation emissions could still increase through at least 2035, jeopardising achievement of the goals of limiting temperature rises to 1.5˚C or at most 2˚C that world leaders set in Paris in December 2015. This underlines the need for further work under the review clauses in the current text in order to ratchet the level of ambition up.
Environmental integrity and broad participation are the defining characteristics by which any ICAO agreement will be measured. There remains a great deal of work to do and ICSA stands ready to work with ICAO member states over the next two weeks and beyond to help close the gap.
There are five key aspects of the GMBM that will be critical to follow as negotiations unfold over the next two weeks:
Public commitment to participate
The proposed agreement establishes a “pilot phase” from 2021 through 2023 and a “first phase” from 2024 through 2026, during which States could “opt in” to the programs, followed by a “second phase” based on mandatory criteria from 2027 through 2035. Public commitment from a wide range of countries, particularly industrialized and major aviation countries, for the first two phases of the GMBM is critical at the ICAO Assembly.
The explicit ability of States to “opt out” of the early phases of the GMBM after joining sows uncertainty for airlines and runs counter to the need to increase participation and emissions reductions to achieve the temperature goals in the Paris Agreement. It can be addressed with text modifications or firm country commitments.
If offsets used to achieve the goal of the GMBM are also credited to other climate goals, emissions will continue to increase while countries and airlines appear to meet their pledges. Addressing double counting is essential to environmental integrity.
Regional and national efforts to increase ambition
It’s important that ambitious states and regions are able to go further in reducing their emissions. ICSA will be watching to see if ICAO actively encourages such action.
Emissions credits and alternative fuels
Recognition of the need for strict and enforceable rules for emissions credits and alternative fuels are absent from the draft resolution. Such discussions will need to continue in ICAO technical committees after the Assembly. Stressing the importance of emissions credits and alternative fuels in the assembly text will help guide future conversations.
With the Paris Agreement set to come into force by the end of 2016, all eyes are now turning to Montreal for an inclusive outcome with meaningful environmental integrity. Just one month before COP 22 takes place in Morocco to focus on Paris Agreement implementation, an ICAO deal on a global market-based measure can send a critical signal to countries and industry alike that aviation emissions will not be allowed to balloon to consume a quarter of the world’s remaining carbon budget.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .