The ABC impacts project aims at providing Belgian decision-makers and stakeholders with a detailed and integrated analysis of issues related to the inclusion of international air and maritime transport into European and international climate policy.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on aviation (1999) shows that not only CO2, but also condensation trails, NOx emissions and cirrus cloud formation have a significant impact on climate change. Yet, emissions from international air transport are not targeted by the Kyoto Protocol commitments, and are not integrated in any international climate policy.
Different options may thus be considered for the inclusion of aviation, and secondarily maritime transport, into climate policy. The analysis of these options is of particular interest for Belgium, given the importance of these sectors in its economy and the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from air traffic over the Belgian territory.
In this context, the ABC impacts project intends to analyse these different climate policy options and to provide an in-depth study of the technical, economic and environmental characteristics of the aviation sector. The projects first phase (2006-2007) will include the following work packages:
- A state-of-the-art summarising available data and knowledge concerning different transport modes, climate policies and emission inventory methodologies;
- The design of scenarios describing the probable evolution of the aviation sector by means of a market analysis and traffic projections;
- The identification and assessment of available technologies (current and future) for aircraft propulsion as well as different air routes and possible flight options;
- An evaluation of the emissions from international air transport transiting through Belgium (and the European Union) as well as a comparison with the emissions from other modes of transportation;
- A comparison of the climate-related impacts of emissions from the aviation sector as well as an assessment of various methods for the spatial and temporal aggregation of climate-related impacts using existing climate models;
- An identification and assessment of the options for integrating the international aviation, and secondarily maritime sector into European and international climate policy, including environmental and efficiency aspects, the additional charge for Belgium and the effort required from the aviation sector as compared to other sectors;
- A multi-criteria analysis aimed at comparing various political options with respect to the priorities of civil society.
In the second phase of the project (2008-2009), the process will be reiterated on the basis of new scenarios
The project will deliver a synthesis report that will compare, from a political, technical, socio-economic and environmental viewpoint, the options for integrating international air and maritime transport into climate policy. Finally, it will provide recommendations for Belgian decision-makers.