IATA Director General and CEO also called on governments to introduce frameworks for sustainable aviation fuels production.

Global aviation

By Patrick Appleton

Governments must stay true to the principle of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and refrain from the temptation of “inventing” environmental taxes.

That’s according to Alexandre de Juniac, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO.

In a wide-ranging speech at the CAPA Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit in Doha, de Juniac said aviation recognised the need to address carbon emissions in 2009 and hoped that governments would stand by CORSIA, which was agreed at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly in 2016.

“This was one of my first interactions with the ICAO process, I was impressed by the spirit of ambition and compromise that underpinned the global standard approach and enabling such an important result for our planet,” de Juniac told delegates in Qatar.

“Governments must now keep their commitment. Too many are inventing taxes in the name of the environment. 

“These siphon money that we could invest in sustainability projects. And they undermine the effectiveness of CORSIA and the political consensus on which it was built.”

I was impressed by the spirit of ambition and compromise that enabled such an important result for our planet. Governments must now keep their commitment

De Juniac said aviation’s contribution to manmade carbon emissions (2%) is relatively stable compared to other polluters, and praised airlines for keeping this steady while growing rapidly as a sector.

However, he added that the air transport industry has “an even tougher” goal to reduce net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050 and called on governments to introduce regulatory and legal frameworks that will facilitate the expansion of sustainable aviation fuels.

Infrastructure was cited as another area where aligned global standards will serve the industry best, according to de Juniac.

“We are facing an infrastructure crisis,” he warned. “There is more demand than capacity, and global standards are helping to manage the available capacity that we have.

“A consistent, transparent, fair and free slot allocation system is the goal. And that rests on everyone involved in the process—our industry partners and governments—applying the same slot rules at both ends of any route.”

Commenting on the coronavirus epidemic, IATA’s Director General and CEO reminded delegates that aviation is an industry that “rises to challenges” and hailed the role of airlines in tackling the situation.

He highlighted ongoing relief efforts in China, which have seen foreign nationals evacuated and medical supplies delivered by air, as a perfect example of air transport’s role to help governments “get through the outbreak” together.

De Juniac also discussed the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max and said greater alignment between regulators would improve public confidence surrounding the return of the aircraft to service.