Halving Emissions by 2050 - Aviation Brings its Targets to Copenhagen

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) brought the aviation industrys environmental goals to Copenhagen. Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers are calling for a global approach to reducing aviation emissions and are united in a commitment: to improve fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year to 2020; to stabilize carbon emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth; and to a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005.
We are the only global industry coming to Copenhagen with a strong track record and a commitment to cut our emissions in half by 2050.These goals clearly show that the aviation industry is even ahead of its regulators in its approach to climate change, said Giovanni Bisignani, IATAs Director General and CEO, as he presented the industry position to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. Bisignanis presentation was part of an official side meeting hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UNs specialized agency for aviation. The Kyoto protocol gives ICAO the responsibility for aviations international emissions. Throughout ICAOs 65-year history, it has worked with industry to create the global standards that governments around the world have implemented to ensure that aviation is safe, secure and efficient and environmentally responsible. Bisignani urged governments to act. The only way that we can meet our targets is by working in cooperation with governments through ICAO. I call on governments in Copenhagen to give ICAO a clear mandate to report back to COP-16 with a Global Sectoral Approach that will enable the aviation industry to deliver real results against concrete targets, said Bisignani. A Global Sectoral Approach, through ICAO, to manage aviations emissions will ensure a level playing field. The approach consists of three main elements:
  • Full accounting for aviations emissions as a global industrial sector, not by state
  • Global coordination of economic measures to ensure that aviation will not pay more than once for its emissions
  • Access to global carbon markets
  • Accommodating the Needs of Developing Nations A Global Sectoral Approach through ICAO can accommodate the needs of developed and developing nations. A good precedent is when ICAO tackled the tough issue of noise, working with the industry. We set global standards that accommodated the needs of developed and developing nations. Today air transport is 75% quieter than four decades ago. Working together in a similar way, we can meet our environmental challenges, said Bisignani. A Strategy Already Delivering Results The aviation industry is already working towards its climate change goals through its four pillar strategy. The strategy focuses on investing in new technology, flying smarter, building efficient infrastructure, and taking advantage of positive economic measures. This united industry strategy is not just words. Shortening routes, spreading best practice in fuel management and using more efficient ways to land are among the measures that we are implementing to reduce emissions. Since 2004, our four pillar strategy has saved over 70 million tonnes of CO2. Last year aviations carbon footprint was just under 670 million tonnes of CO2. That will shrink by 7% this year5% from the recession and 2% as a direct result of our strategy, said Bisignani. Looking forward, Bisignani highlighted the potential of sustainable biofuels. A few years ago they were a dream. Today we can say that five airlines have tested them successfully. They are safe and they have the potential to reduce our carbon footprint by up to 80% over the lifecycle of the fuel. We expect certification by 2011 at the latest. We have been diligent with our homework. Now governments must create the right legal and fiscal frameworks to support their commercialization and distribution, said Bisignani.
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