India’s first-ever annual report on the carbon footprint of its aviation industry shows a 6 per cent CO2 increase in 2011
ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin (left) and Indian DGCA DG Arun Mishra present report
Thu 11 Oct 2012 – India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has presented its first ‘The Carbon Footprint of Indian Aviation’ report, which is part of its strategy of developing a sustainable aviation framework for the country’s fast-growing air transport sector. The report shows that from combined Indian domestic and international scheduled airline operations, 12.7 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted in 2011, a 6 per cent increase in comparison with 2010. Foreign airlines serving international destinations from Indian airports emitted 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 last year, based on local fuel uplift. DGCA’s Director General, Arun Mishra, said the authority was committed to annual reporting of India’s aviation footprint, providing workshops for airlines and airports on climate change and formulating a “realistic” climate change policy for the sector.
“India’s growing aviation market significantly contributes to the development of the country but inevitably also leads to environmental challenges,” he said at the release of the report during a meeting in New Delhi of DGCAs from the Asia-Pacific region. “We are committed to developing a vision for sustainable aviation while safeguarding the industry’s growth.”
The report highlights that CO2 emissions from Indian scheduled airline operations as well as from foreign airlines to international destinations represented less than 1% of the country’s total CO2 emissions. This is significantly lower than the global average of aviation emissions represented by the approximate 2% overall contribution of anthropogenic emissions by the sector, says the DGCA.
However, the report concedes that under a business-as-usual scenario and if no carbon reduction measures were taken then emissions could more than double to 27 million tonnes by 2020, and by 2050 could reach 209 million tonnes of CO2.
The development of an annual carbon footprint for the Indian aviation sector is imperative in order to implement reduction measures, monitor progress over time, and set targets if necessary, finds the report. “Additional workshops could be provided to both Indian airlines and airport operators in order to promote increased awareness concerning aviation’s role in climate change, to improve data collection procedures and to encourage collaboration amongst aviation’s major stakeholders,” it adds.
Emissions from operations at Indian airports are estimated at around 700,000 tonnes in 2011, representing just over 5% of the total aviation emissions.
Also attending the New Delhi meeting was Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO. Commenting on the report’s unveiling, he said: “India has taken important steps in the field of aviation and climate change. This is evident from the effective airline initiatives on fuel efficiency and fleet renewal, the participation of three airports in [the] Airport Carbon Accreditation [scheme], and the development of ‘The Carbon Footprint of Indian Aviation’ report by the DGCA. I am confident that India will continue with the implementation of proactive measures, which represent the most efficient way to combat climate change.”
The report was prepared with the support of the European Union and India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project. Despite the collaboration, India has currently forbidden its airlines from complying with the EU’s carbon emissions trading scheme.
Regardless of the recent slowing down of domestic air traffic demand, high oil prices and jet fuel taxes, strikes at Air India and financial problems at Kingfisher Airlines and other Indian carriers, Boeing last month raised its forecast for the Indian commercial aircraft market. From a demand for 1,320 new aircraft up to 2030 estimated last year, Boeing now believes the country will need 1,450 new aircraft worth $175 billion. Boeing forecasts passenger traffic to grow by 8.4% annually in South Asia, which includes India.
“India will have the highest passenger traffic growth in the world, higher than even China’s in the next 20 years,” said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and India.