IATA urged the governments of the world to reach
an agreement on a global framework to manage international
aviation’s emissions at the 37th Assembly of the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“The biggest challenge for this Assembly is to
reach an agreement on a global solution to manage emissions from
international aviation. A united aviation industry of airlines,
airports, air navigation service providers, manufacturers and
general aviation has made ambitious commitments to cap and
eventually cut its emissions. To be successful, governments must
endorse these commitments in a globally agreed framework,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, to a group of
delegates attending the ICAO Assembly in Montreal.
The aviation industry is united behind three
targets: (a) a 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel efficiency
to 2020, (b) capping net emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral
growth and (c) cutting emission in half by 2050 compared to 2005.
“No other industrial sector has made such
ambitious global commitments. Even UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon commended the aviation industry as a role model for other
industries to follow,” said Bisignani.
Bisignani highlighted several key elements which
could help facilitate global consensus:
Place and Process:
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, confirmed that
ICAO is the forum for dealing with emissions from international
aviation, and that any agreement at ICAO would not, in any way,
impact the position of any state on non-aviation issues discussed
in the UNFCCC process.
Even within a global agreement, ICAO has a track record of
accommodating the needs of developing states. For example, ICAO’s
global framework for noise reduction included extended timelines
for developing states.
industry’s global solution will facilitate growth and the economic
benefits it brings even while reducing emissions. This will be
achieved through the industry’s four- pillar strategy of
investments in technology, more efficient infrastructure, more
effective operations and globally coordinated positive economic
“Major blockers are being removed. The industry
is ready. And most governments agree that a global framework is
needed. There are still some hurdles to overcome, but we are
moving in the right direction,” said Bisignani who noted that
important regional groupings and individual states have indicated
their wish for an agreement.
The planned inclusion of aviation into the
European emissions trading scheme in 2012 is also helping
governments to focus on the urgency of a global solution. “If this
Assembly ends without an agreement, the next opportunity is 2013.
Against global opposition, Europe will attempt to move forward
with its unilateral emissions trading scheme,” said Bisignani.
“No government or industry player will want to
face the consequences of such a development. It would lead to a
breakdown of the global standards on which global aviation was
built, a patchwork of uncoordinated taxes and schemes, strained
bilateral relations and serious challenges on sovereignty issues,”
“The livelihoods of 32 million people and $3.5
trillion in economic activity depend on the success of global
aviation. As leaders, everyone attending this Assembly has a great
responsibility to continue building a safe, secure, efficient and
sustainable future for this wonderful industry. The industry is
committed to supporting governments in reaching agreement on a
responsible solution for aviation and the environment. I am
optimistic that we will be successful,” said Bisignani.
The ICAO Assembly will discuss environmental
issues in its Executive Committee on Thursday 30 September with
conclusions to be reported by the Assembly’s conclusion on 8
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