Capacity-Building Programme for Environment
ECAC's commitment to environmental capacity building is long-standing, and ECAC's work programme recognises the need for environmental capacity building as a priority. Its environmental tasks already support ECAC Member States sharing information and building capacity mainly through the ECAC Environmental Forum but also through the work of the European Aviation and Environment Working Group (EAEG) co-chaired with the European Commission.
Environmental capacity building was prioritised after the 2016 Bratislava Declaration commitment to address needs that would arise from States requiring technical assistance in relation to the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
The additional boost to environmental capacity building was made effective with the addition to the ECAC Secretariat in December 2020 of a Climate Change and Capacity-Building Specialist, seeking to support Member States in delivering their environmental obligations and to build on ECAC's previous capacity-building success in other aviation domains, by further strengthening the competencies and knowledge of officials at all levels dealing with environment matters in ECAC Member States.
The ECAC environmental capacity-building programme has three broad objectives:
- Objective 1: supporting ECAC Member States’ own efforts to fulfill ICAO environmental policy and regulatory requirements.
- Objective 2: strengthening the competencies and knowledge of people dealing with environment matters in ECAC Member States.
- Objective 3: promoting and supporting information sharing, policy awareness among ECAC Member States.
Tasks and responsibilities
The programme comprises, but is not limited to, the following activities:
- supporting the implementation of CORSIA in application of ECAC's Bratislava Declaration, and to collect feedback from the experience of ECAC Member States;
- supporting the harmonised submission of 44 European State Action Plans for CO2 emissions reductions from international aviation to show European determination against climate change, and to mutualise efforts;
- supporting the establishment of capacity-building partnerships among ECAC Member States;
- strengthening the competencies and knowledge of civil aviation personnel on climate change policies and promoting the establishment and consolidation of environmental structures and competencies;
- supporting the development of guidance material/best practices/recommendations for supporting Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) policies, and promoting them to encourage active engagement of ECAC Member States towards their large scale deployment in Europe; and
- developing and promoting the use of best practice documentation/recommendations facilitating information sharing in other environmental areas, where a need for further European harmonisation is identified (including climate change mitigation long-term goals).
The ECAC environmental capacity-building programme will be implemented through workshops, webinars, on-site training, and targeted capacity building, addressing specific needs expressed by ECAC Member States.
All ECAC Member States identifying environmental capacity-building needs are invited to contact the ECAC Secretariat via the person responsible for the Environment Capacity-Building Programme.
Past and upcoming activities
Under the programme, the following activities have taken place:
- identification of capacity-building needs and potential State partnerships via the survey to ECAC Member States (15 February - 15 March 2021);
- organisation of three information seminars under the ECAC Environmental Forum with the APER TG and European focal points for State Action Plans (SAP), and in cooperation with ICAO EUR/NAT;
- provision of technical assistance on State Action Plans to individual Member States and 25 ECAC updated SAPs in 2021 published to the ECAC website;
- collection of feedback on the status of CORSIA implementation through direct interaction between the ECAC Secretariat and European focal points (May-October 2021);
- first CORSIA Information Seminar (videoconference, 24 November 2021).
- organisation of monthly familiarisation webinars on basic knowledge on aviation and the environment;
- facilitation of partnerships among Member States.
- delivery of high-level environmental familiarisation briefings to ECAC Directors General:
- briefing on climate aviation long-term goals (DGCA(SP)/70, 28 August 2021);
- briefing on CORSIA (DGCA/157, 15 December 2021).
- organisation of workshops under the ECAC Environmental Forum:
- first ECAC workshop on sustainable aviation fuels (videoconference, 29 October 2021).
- launch of a Sustainable Aviation Fuels Task Group (SAF TG) under the EAEG (Expanded) to develop SAF best practice guidance material (November 2021) and facilitation of subsequent meetings in 2021 and 2022.