Home » Aviation, Breaking News » ICAO, gov’ts agree to consider aviation emissions-reduction goal

Environment topped the agenda at a recent International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly, where, for the first time, member states agreed to consider a long-term goal to reduce aviation emissions.

This move by governments at the 40th Assembly of ICAO was strongly welcomed by airlines, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in a statement.

IATA said there were two critical outcomes from the gathering. One, the ICAO Council will report to the next Assembly on options for adopting a long-term aspirational goal for reducing carbon emissions from international aviation.

Two, the Assembly resolved to reaffirm and strengthen its support for the successful implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)—the world’s first global carbon offsetting scheme.

A decade ago the aviation industry agreed to a long-term goal to cut aviation emissions to half the levels of 2005 by 2050, and is working on a pathway to achieve that goal. This Assembly marks the first time that ICAO member states have agreed to consider a long-term goal for governments to reduce aviation emissions.

“Sustainability is critical to earning aviation’s license to grow and spread its many economic and social benefits. Decarbonizing the sector is a major challenge. Our focus is on cutting emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050 and we are making consistent progress,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Juniac said that flying today is 17.3% more fuel efficient than a decade ago, and that from 2020—with the help of CORSIA—the sector’s growth will be carbon neutral. “The strong support of governments for developing a UN backed long-term goal for reducing emissions would support us in those efforts and take us to the next step.”

He added that national policy measures aligned to a global long-term emissions reduction goal will “enable the industry to work even more effectively on crucial opportunities like commercializing sustainable aviation fuels and more efficient air traffic management.”

Meanwhile, enhanced and strong support for CORSIA will shore up efforts to cap aviation’s emissions from 2020. CORSIA will offset growth of international flight emissions from 2021, generating some US$40 billion of aviation-funded climate finance by 2035.

“We need to implement CORSIA successfully. It’s essential to our promise of carbon-neutral growth. This Assembly has sent a clear message that governments are committed to CORSIA and want to broaden participation from the voluntary stage. We look forward to seeing these commitments delivered as CORSIA begins—particularly by those states that are undermining CORSIA with additional taxes or charges,” said de Juniac.

The Assembly also made decisions on other critical issues including on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) into airspace, and support for IATA’s one ID project which features biometric recognition to secure and facilitate the passenger clearance process.

The Assembly also decided that governments should implement the necessary infrastructure components to meet existing and future demand, and work with aviation stakeholders to identify and address infrastructure challenges in a timely manner.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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