Greening the Blue Sky

Montreal - All aviation
stakeholders, including manufacturers, airlines, airports and
navigation service providers, have issued a joint call for
governments to agree a global plan to address aviation emissions at
December’s United Nations climate summit in Cancún.

The call from the href=””
target=”_blank”>international aerospace industry comes as
the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is holding
its target=”_blank”>general assembly in Montreal.

Industry worries that a fragmented
worldwide regulatory system would raise compliance costs for the
sector and hurt the global industry

The industry believes that ICAO, a specialised UN agency which
codifies the principles and techniques of international air
navigation, is the right forum to draw up an appropriate global
framework and implement it.

  • Aviation is the only industry to have presented href=””
    target=”_blank”>a set of global targets for greening its

  • The objective is to improve fuel efficiency by an average of
    1.5% per year until 2020, achieve carbon-neutral growth for
    the sector from 2020, and halve its overall emissions by 2050
    compared to 2005 levels. 

  • New technologies, improvements in air traffic management and
    the use of sustainable biofuels have been identified as the three
    areas with the greatest potential for reducing emissions

Just months before the UN climate conference opens in Cancún,
“the ICAO Assembly must rise to the challenge and adopt a global
plan for addressing aviation emissions,” said François Gayet,
secretary-general of European aerospace industry association

Message to Cancún

Last month, the global aviation industry gathered in Geneva for
the target=”_blank”>fifth Aviation & Environment Summit, urging
governments at the ICAO to “make decisive progress” and agree on a
global framework to address aviation emissions.

The  href=””
summit communiqué of 17 September urged the states
involved in the UN climate negotiations “to summon the political
will to endorse the industry targets for reducing emissions and
establish the necessary global framework to deliver them”.

The same message was sent to governments ahead of the December
2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, after talks on a ‘href=””
target=”_blank”>global sectoral approach for addressing aviation
emissions’ in October 2009.

While the industry is committed to improving its fuel
efficiency, as well as stopping and then halving its net carbon
emissions, it stresses that these goals are “subject to governments
incentivising technological research and development for airframes
and engines and the commercial development of alternative
low-carbon fuels while also providing modern airport and airspace

The communiqué notes that the most effective current means of
lowering CO2 emissions is to invest in new aircraft, but that the
industry’s ability to do so “is threatened by increasing and costly
regulatory burdens, including taxes, charges and economic

Therefore, the sector calls for policy responses that are
“cost-effective, equitable and globally coordinated through ICAO,
providing open access to carbon markets”.


You can return to the main Market News page, or press the Back button on your browser.