The International Air Transport Association (Iata) is urging African governments to support the adoption of a global offsetting scheme for carbon emissions at the thirty-ninth tri-annual assembly of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) in Montreal, Canada, later this year.
Iata’s call comes seven months ahead of the Icao summit, where governments from 191 member States will meet to agree on matters which set the worldwide policy agenda on aviation for the upcoming triennium.
Top of the agenda would be the proposed adoption of a global offsetting scheme for international aviation. Achieving agreement on this would be essential if the aviation sector was to meet its goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020 (CNG2020) which was adopted at the thirty-seventh Icao assembly in 2010.
The alternative was an increasing patchwork of taxes, charges and regulations, implemented nationally and regionally, that would restrict the value air transport could bring to the world.
“The industry has taken impressive steps to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, with representatives from airlines, airports, air traffic management and manufacturing all playing their part.
“New technologies have been developed, alternative fuels have proved themselves to be a viable option and more efficient operating procedures are being established,” Aviation Environment director Michael Gill said.
He added that, collaboratively, the industry exceeded its yearly goal of a 1.5% increase in fuel efficiency. “Additionally, significant steps have been made towards achieving the industry’s two further environmental goals, stabilising net emissions by 2020 and cutting emissions by 2050 to half of what they were in 2005.”
Further, Gill highlighted that positive progress had been made, but that the time had come for aviation to call on leadership from governments if it wanted to find a common solution to meet the goal of CNG2020.
“Only through the agreement of a global offsetting scheme will it be possible to establish a framework for aviation that is fair, transparent, practical and cost effective. That is why we are urging nations to agree on a global offsetting scheme at this year’s Icao Assembly.
“We really wish to ensure that the momentum created by the recent Icao agreement for a CO2 efficiency standard for commercial aircraft is not lost. A positive outcome at Icao will support the sustainable future of aviation.”
Iata was hosting a series of global regional workshops to raise awareness for the need for a market-based measure in the lead-up to the Icao assembly in September.
A number of these meetings would be held on the continent, with the first held in Lagos on March 10 and the second in Nairobi on March 11.
In parallel, Icao was hosting a series of Global Aviation Dialogues on market-based measures to tackle climate change in five regions including one in Dakar, Senegal, on March 23 and 24.