Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the G8 leaders’ support for a global sectoral approach in dealing with aviation’s emissions in the post-2012 period on the way to a 50% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The G8 declaration specifically noted two points of significance to aviation:

  • The need for a coordinated approach by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which will guide the international aviation sector’s contribution to meeting the G8 recommended target to reduce global emissions 50% by 2050
  • The need to more proactively engage the private sector and trigger investments with partnerships between government and business

“Effectively addressing climate change is a top priority for the aviation sector. Aviation is a global industry and its emissions should be accounted for at the global level as a sector, not by state. In line with the Summit Declaration’s call for business and government cooperation, IATA looks forward to working with governments in the ICAO and the UNFCCC processes to help develop details of global sectoral approach for aviation and climate change,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The commercial aviation industry has agreed to three sequential targets:

  • 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel efficiency between now and 2020
  • Carbon-neutral growth by 2020
  • A 50% absolute reduction in aviations emissions by 2050 compared with 2005

“The G8 Summit declaration is absolutely aligned with the aggressive targets that aviation has set. Commercial aviation is the first global industry to commit to a carbon-neutral growth target by 2020. We have a solid track record of meeting our targets. In 48 months IATA led a successful campaign that brought electronic ticketing to every corner of the planet. By moving effectively as a united sector, aviation will achieve our climate change targets as well,” said Bisignani.

“The industry’s four-pillar strategy to address climate change with better technology, improved operations, more efficient infrastructure and positive economic measures is already delivering significant results. Aviation’s carbon footprint will shrink by 7% this year—5% from the recession and 2% as a direct result of aviation’s united industry strategy. But aviation’s long-term success on climate change is also contingent upon governments playing their role. Governments must invest in more efficient infrastructure and support the development of biofuels with an appropriate fiscal and legal framework. Government and industry must work together,” said Bisignani.

Bisignani noted that economic measures would be critical to achieving the carbon-neutral growth target until the full benefit of technology solutions can be realized. “We welcome the opportunity to work with ICAO and the UNFCCC to replace the developing patchwork of environmental taxes and charges with a coordinated approach that does not distort competition, credits airlines for every cent that they pay and ensures that they pay only once,” said Bisignani.

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.