Reducing climate change is a critical global challenge. Commercial aviation is responsible for about 2-3% of global carbon emissions. In 2009 the industry put in place an ambitious and robust carbon emissions strategy, with targets and a four-pillar action plan.
“It is our duty to protect the planet from the disastrous impacts of climate change.
Some say that the answer to climate change is to stop or heavily reduce flying. That would have grave consequences for people, jobs, and economies all over the world. It would be a step backward to an isolated society that is smaller, poorer and constrained.
I say, let’s work together to make flying sustainable. CO2 is the problem. We can and are doing something meaningful to reduce it.”
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO.
Three targets and four pillars
IATA recognizes the need to address the global challenge of climate change and adopted a set of ambitious targets to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport:
- An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020
- A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth)
- A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels
A multi-faceted approach: the four-pillar strategy
IATA is determined to be part of the solution but insists that, in order to achieve these targets, a strong commitment is required from all stakeholders working together through the four pillars of the aviation industry strategy:
- Improved technology, including the deployment of sustainable aviation fuels
- More efficient aircraft operations
- Infrastructure improvements, including modernized air traffic management systems
- A single global market-based measure, to fill the remaining emissions gap
A global market-based measure for aviation
In 2016, the 39th ICAO Assembly concluded with the adoption of a global offsetting scheme to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. The agreement at ICAO demonstrates that aviation is determined to live up to its commitments and play its part in meeting international goals for emissions reduction.
The scheme established by ICAO is a global offsetting mechanism, called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). CORSIA aims to stabilize net CO2 emissions starting in 2021 with carbon-neutral growth.
Raising awareness of our efforts to tackle climate change
We’re on a long-haul journey to tackle our impact on climate change. We set carbon targets over a decade ago, and a trip today produces half as much CO2 as 30 years ago. We’ve come a long way in a short time, but there is much more to achieve.
We often talk to industry and governments about our innovative efforts to reduce emissions, but we know that our acronyms and technical vocabulary can make it difficult to understand the concrete actions we are taking.
That is why we have established Fly Aware, a dedicated platform that explains what we’ve done, what we’re still planning to do and what you can do too.