Airlines present climate change
proposals to heads of governments
New York - The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) presented its proposals for December’s climate change talks to the
UN Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change in New York. The forum
takes place in the run-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen this December. The aviation
sector is united in calling on world leaders to retain a global sectoral
approach to reducing aviation emissions under the leadership of the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), working in cooperation
with the sector through IATA.
“Climate change is a global problem. Aviation is a global
industry. And we need a global approach for this industrial sector if we
are to deal with climate change effectively,” said Giovanni Bisignani,
IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“Mechanisms designed for ground-based polluters will not
work effectively for aviation which can emit CO2 across borders and over
the high seas even on a single flight. And already uncoordinated national
and regional schemes are creating a patchwork of punitive taxes that fill
government coffers, but do little or nothing to effectively manage
aviation’s emissions,” said Bisignani.
“The Kyoto Protocol directed states to address aviation
through ICAO. Its global standards and cooperation with industry have
made air transport the safest form of travel. A global sectoral approach
for aviation can leverage this same leadership to deliver results for
aviation and the environment,” said Bisignani.
The aviation industry presented a paper outlining the industry’s
commitment to three sequential targets.
1. Improving carbon efficiency with a 1.5% average annual
improvement in fuel efficiency to 2020
2. Stabilizing emissions with carbon-neutral growth from 2020
3. Emissions reductions with a 50% absolute cut in emissions by 2050
compared to 2005
“Our targets are tough. Air transport is the first industry to
commit to carbon-neutral growth at the global level. And we have done it
with an aggressive timeline of 2020. Our four-pillar strategy of
technology investment, efficient infrastructure, effective operations and
positive economic measures will make our vision a reality and is already
showing results. Aviation’s emissions are expected to fall 7% in 2009 -
5% as a result of the recession and 2% directly related to the strategy.
IATA’s ‘Green Teams’ have saved 34 million tonnes of CO2 through
operational efficiencies since 2005; our work on improving
infrastructure, including shortening air routes, has saved a similar
amount of CO2 since 2004. But our success depends on governments playing
their part. They must implement more effective air traffic management:
the introduction of NextGen air traffic management in the USA and the
Single European Sky in Europe have the potential to save 41 million
tonnes of CO2 annually. Governments must also create the legal and fiscal
framework to support the development of sustainable biofuels for
aviation,” said Bisignani.
The paper also outlined guiding principles to ensure that the
global sectoral approach results in emissions reductions, retains funds
for investment in environmental initiatives for aviation, preserves a
level playing field, provides access to global carbon markets and ensures
that airlines cover the environmental cost of their emissions.
“Aviation is unique in its ability to move globally as a
sector - from safety to e-ticketing. Retaining a global sectoral approach
at Copenhagen will deliver the best results in managing reductions in
aviation’s emissions,” said Bisignani.
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.
- The UN
Leadership Forum on Climate Change is taking place in the UN HQ in
New York on 22nd September 2009. It is the official launch of the
Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change.
- The purpose
of the Forum is to build positive political momentum towards the
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in
Copenhagen this December, by demonstrating explicit private sector
support for bold climate action to Heads of State and Government. It
is expected that business and civil society leaders will:
- Make the
case to Heads of State and Government that the private sector has a
strong interest in the negotiation of a balanced and effective
global climate change treaty;
that the private sector is already taking action to move to a
low-carbon economy and that solutions to the climate crisis are
- Commit to
taking action to address climate change – individually and in
partnership with the UN and civil society.
of a global sectoral approach
aviation should be included in the post-Kyoto framework
should be treated as a separate sector rather than by country
emissions should be accounted for at a global level
- Any scheme
should cover CO2 emissions from aircraft, consistent with the Kyoto
protocol. Once more is known about non–CO2 impacts, a new policy
should be developed.
- The sector
should be held accountable and pay only once for its
from economic measures such as emissions trading must be earmarked
for environmental purposes. Some of this might be used to support
the development of more fuel efficient aircraft or sustainable
- Allow full
and unrestricted access to all available abatement measures outside
the aviation sector and to carbon markets
airlines/carriers must be treated equally
Airlines delegation to the forum consists of IATA members Willie
Walsh (British Airways), Mats Jansson (SAS Group), Pierre Caussade
(Air France–KLM), Chris Schroeder (Qatar Airways) and Paul Steele
the joint industry paper (pdf)