4 June, 2007
IATA Calls for a Zero Emissions Future
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued four
challenges to drive the air transport industry towards its vision of zero
"The environmental track
record of the industry is good: over the last four decades we have reduced
noise by 75%, eliminated soot and improved fuel efficiency by 70%. And the
billions being invested in new aircraft will make our fleet 25% more fuel
efficient by 2020. This will limit the growth of our carbon footprint from
today's 2% to 3% in 2050," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General
"But a growing carbon
footprint is no longer politically acceptable-for any industry. Climate
change will limit our future unless we change our approach from technical
to strategic. Air transport must aim to become an industry that does not
pollute-zero emissions," said Bisignani.
The four challenges
Air Traffic Management: Governments and air
navigation service providers must eliminate the 12% inefficiency in
global air traffic management. "Cut air traffic inefficiency in half by
2012 and we immediately save 35 million tonnes of CO2. Three
mega-projects could deliver real results: a Single Sky for Europe, an
efficient Pearl River Delta in China and a next generation air traffic
system in the US," said Bisignani. "But governments are dragging their
feet. The Single European Sky could deliver a 12 million tonne reduction
in CO2. But it has been a 15-year European circus of talks, talks, and
more talks-with no results. This is inconsistent and irresponsible,"
Technology: The aerospace industry must build a
zero emissions aircraft in the next 50 years. "I challenge the US,
Europe, Canada, China, Brazil, Russia and Japan to coordinate basic
research on a zero-emissions aircraft and then compete to develop
products based on this research. Clean fuel is also critical.
Governments have cut alternative fuel funding while oil companies are
busy counting the US$15 billion in increased refinery margins that the
airline industry is now paying. The first target is to replace 10% of
fuel with low-carbon alternatives in the next ten year.
And the second is to begin developing a carbon-free fuel from
renewable energy sources. It's time for governments
and the oil industry to make some serious investments," said
A Global Approach: Climate change is a global
issue, requiring a global solution. "The challenge is for the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its 190 member
States to deliver a global emissions trading scheme that is fair,
effective and available for all governments to use on a voluntary basis.
The September ICAO Assembly is an opportunity that cannot be missed. The
relevance of ICAO depends on its ability to deliver a global solution on
this important issue," said Bisignani.
Green businesses: "The final challenge is for
airlines to implement green strategies across the business. IATA is
developing IATA Project Green to help airlines implement global best
practice Environmental Management Systems. This will place environment
alongside safety and security as a core promise to our 2 billion
passengers," said Bisignani.
Bisignani noted, "This will
not be achieved overnight. And nobody has all the answers. But the airline
industry was born by realising a dream that people could fly. We can
already see the potential building blocks for a carbon-free future: fuel
cell technology, solar powered aircraft and fuel made from biomass. By
working together with a common vision, a green industry is absolutely
Bisignani cautioned that
governments are too easily sidetracked. "Politicians think green and see
cash. In the name of the environment, UK Chancellor Gordon Brown doubled
the Air Passenger Duty. The environment has not benefited, but airlines
and their passenger are paying a billion pounds for his green credentials.
And Europe is rushing to include aviation in emissions trading at the same
time as governments are looking at carbon offsets. The policies are
schizophrenic. We have had enough PR. It's time to deliver some real
results," said Bisignani.
1. IATA's Strategy to
Address Climate Change can be found on: http://www.iata.org/NR/rdonlyres/80F7AA1C-2CE1-40B0-A2D5-C9AE38259AC2/0/4153400Climatechangeflyer4.pdf