Focus on Reducing Emissions
-IATA Calls for
Governments-Industry Alignment on Emissions-
Geneva - The International
Air Transport Association (IATA) challenged the aviation industry and governments
to bring an aligned global approach on aviation carbon emissions to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference
to be held this December in Copenhagen.
“Environmental responsibility is a core promise of aviation,
alongside safety and security. But we can only deliver on that
promise if governments are aligned with all four pillars of our strategy.
Copenhagen will test that alignment, especially on positive economic
measures,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Bisignani made the remarks in an opening address to the annual Aviation
and Environment Summit being held in Geneva by the Air Transport Action
All players in the aviation industry are united in a Four
Pillar Strategy on Climate Change focused on (1) investment in
technology, (2) effective operations, (3) efficient infrastructure and
(4) positive economic measures.
“I am convinced that we are on the right track with
respect to technology, operations and infrastructure. The fourth pillar -
positive economic measures - needs our urgent attention,” said Bisignani.
“Governments must move beyond punitive economic measures, such as
excessive so-called environment taxes, to focus on measures that reduce
emissions in a globally coordinated effort. That was the vision of the
wise drafters of the Kyoto protocol. But governments are a long way from
The Kyoto protocol took a sectoral approach to aviation,
recognising that the global nature of international aviation required a
different solution than geographically fixed industries. The
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was entrusted to handle
aviation’s international emissions. ICAO’s 15-country Group on
International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC) has been tasked with
producing proposals and targets in preparation for Copenhagen.
“As GIACC prepares for Copenhagen, three challenges must
be met. The first is to marry the unified approach of the Chicago Convention
that guides ICAO with the principle of common but differentiated
responsibility (CBDR) that is a cornerstone of the UNFCCC process. The
second challenge is to preserve the sectoral approach for international
aviation that was established by Kyoto. The third is to develop economic
measures that are effective in reducing aviation’s emissions. That means
replacing the growing patchwork of green taxes, charges and emissions
trading proposals with a global system; allocating the funds from that
system to environmental projects and treating aviation fairly and in
proportion to its 2% contribution to global man-made carbon emissions,”
Bisignani also highlighted the achievements of aviation in
reducing emissions. “The commitment of aviation to a global and effective
approach on climate change has never been stronger. The economic crisis
has not shifted our vision or diminished our efforts,” said Bisignani.
“This year we expect a 7.8% drop in global carbon emissions from
aviation. Of this, 6.0% is from an expected drop in capacity and the
other 1.8% is directly related to our Four Pillar Strategy on Climate
Change, specifically improvement in technology, operations and
Progress in two areas was noted:
Fuel savings: Reducing fuel
consumption reduces emissions. “In 2008 IATA’s efforts saved 15 million
tonnes of carbon emissions. Working side-by-side with our member
airlines, IATA’s Green Teams identified savings between 3 and 12% of fuel
consumption at each airline visited. We also worked with air navigation
service providers resulting in 214 more direct routings and better
terminal area management at 103 airports. Our target for this year is to
save a further 10 million tonnes,” said Bisignani.
Biofuels: Recent successful
tests by Continental, JAL, Air New Zealand and Virgin proved that next
generation sustainable biofuels work. “We have made amazing progress.
Certification by 2010 or 2011 is a real possibility. Biofuels may even
hold the promise of improved fuel efficiency on top of the potential to
reduce emissions by up to 80% over the lifecycle of the fuel. A
successful biofuel industry would play an important role in energy
security and could be a big generator of employment and wealth in the
developing world. Commercial production should be a priority for
governments encouraged by effective incentives in tax and regulatory
frameworks,” said Bisignani.
“In 2007 I set out a vision for aviation to achieve
carbon-neutral growth on the way to a carbon-free future. This pushed the
boundaries of what people thought was possible. Twenty-two months later
we are closer to carbon neutral growth than ever. We cannot, however, be
complacent. We have a responsibility to secure the future of the 32
million jobs and US$3.5 trillion in economic activity dependant on
aviation. We need global leadership that unites industry and governments
with the common purpose of reducing emissions,” said Bisignani.
View Giovanni Bisignani's full speech
Director Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967
Notes for editors:
(International Air Transport Association) represents some 230
airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.