Support for the air transport industry’s sustainability programs at the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been welcomed by airlines.
The environmental issue was top of the agenda during the week-long gathering of governments and industry stakeholders in Montreal.
Discussions between states ended with two positive key outcomes that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said will help airlines “take the next step” in further cutting carbon emissions.
At the next Assembly, the ICAO Council will report back on options for the adoption of a long-term aspirational goal for reducing carbon emissions from international aviation.
The strong support of governments for developing a UN backed long-term goal for reducing emissions would take us to the next step
Meanwhile, the Assembly passed a resolution that reaffirmed its support for the successful implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
It is the first time in history that ICAO’s 193 member states have agreed to look at a long-term goal for governments to cut emissions from air travel.
The move has been welcomed by IATA and its member airlines, whose long-term goal it is to cut total emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050.
“Sustainability is critical to earning aviation’s license to grow and spread its many economic and social benefits. Decarbonizing the sector is a major challenge,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“Flying today is 17.3% more fuel efficient than a decade ago. From 2020—with the help of CORSIA—the sector’s growth will be carbon neutral.
“The strong support of governments for developing a UN backed long-term goal for reducing emissions would support us in those efforts and take us to the next step.
“National policy measures aligned to a global long-term emissions reduction goal will enable the industry to work even more effectively on crucial opportunities like commercializing sustainable aviation fuels and more efficient air traffic management.”
A number of other decisions in line with IATA policy were made at the Assembly, including a request for the ICAO Council to help develop a disability-inclusive air transport system, a call for more states to ratify the 2014 Montreal Protocol to deal with unruly passengers, and an endorsement of IATA’s One ID project.