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 and 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 main achievements in 2022 are:
- assistance on State Action Plans (SAPs) provided to 12 ECAC Member States mainly via remote consultations, including support to the review of their Plans;
- two tailored workshops on SAPs given to individual States;
- three new ECAC States' Action Plans were submitted in 2022, in addition to the 25 submitted in 2021, and published to the ECAC website;
- two CORSIA workshops delivered in cooperation with ICAO: CORSIA IS/2 (9 March 2022) gathered 137 participants from 26 Member States, ten industry stakeholders and six organisations. CORSIA IS/3 (15 June 2022) gathered 59 participants from 25 ECAC member States.
- three tailored CORSIA workshops (two virtual, one in person) provided to individual States.
- eight familiarisation webinars on aviation and the environment were delivered to provide basic knowledge on environmental matters, addressing different topics. The webinars' participation increased significantly with respect to 2021, having reached 87 registered experts from 28 Member States, with an average involvement of approximately 70 participants per webinar.
- three high-level familiarisation briefings were delivered:
- briefing on the long-term aspirational goal (LTAG) to LACAC Directors General on 17 January 2022;
- briefing on SAF to ECAC Directors General at DGCA/158 on 11 May 2022;
- briefing on SAF to LACAC Directors General on 7 July 2022.
- most of the actions in 2022 were focused on the promotion of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in ECAC Member States, including:
- two virtual ECAC SAF workshops with Member States and industry stakeholders delivered (SAFTG-WKSHP/1 on 10 May 2022 and SAFTG-WKSHP/2 on 6 July 2022);
- ECAC Secretariat has participated in two environmental capacity-building activities of other organisations:
- the ICAO WACAF/ESAF seminar on SAF (12 April 2022); and
- the ACAO Environmental Forum (5 July 2022).
- one joint AFCAC/ECAC environmental workshop on LTAG and SAF took place on 28 November 2022.
Development of SAF guidance
- drafting of an ECAC/EU Guidance on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) for final endorsement of Directors General in February 2023;
- organisation of two SAF workshops for the development of the ECAC/EU Guidance:
- a SAF Task Group workshop with stakeholders (SAFTG-WKSHP/1, on 10 May 2022); and
- a joint ECAC/Clean Skies for Tomorrow workshop with States and stakeholders (SAF-WKSHP/2, on 6 July 2022).
- cooperation with EUROCONTROL for the publication of a European Sustainable Aviation Fuels Map, showing national regulatory measures as well as the status of SAF use at specific airports, as per the decision of ECAC Directors General (DGCA/158, 11 May 2022).