Industry, NGOs and governments to discuss global aviation environmental and climate issues at Geneva meeting
Thu 24 Sep 2015 – The aviation industry gathers next week in Geneva for the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit, hosted by the cross-sector Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). The conference will look ahead to the December UNFCCC climate negotiations in Paris and the impact the outcome might have in the lead up to the next ICAO Assembly in little over a year’s time, when countries are hoping to reach a global agreement on a market-based measure (MBM) to address international aviation emissions. It will also tackle a range of other environmental issues such as sustainable alternative aviation fuels, aircraft noise, new technologies and emerging environmental Issues. Keynote speakers include Solar Impulse CEO and pilot André Borschberg and Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council.
Other presentations will made by inter-governmental representatives from outside the aviation sector, with John Scanlon of CITES on the subject of air transport’s role in reducing the illegal trade in wildlife, Dr Margaret Harris of the World Health Organization on aviation’s humanitarian role and John Kilani of UNFCCC providing an update on the current state of the climate negotiations. NGOs will be represented in panel sessions by Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund and Tim Johnson of the Aviation Environment Federation.
The conference will look at industry goals out to 2050 and in a break from previous formats there will be technical breakout sessions focusing on aviation climate solutions, noise management, community engagement, environmental management and emerging environmental issues. Other panel sessions will discuss technology’s role in meeting the 2050 target of reducing emissions by 50%, including the part to be played by sustainable fuels; the industry’s carbon-neutral growth goal and the prospects for a global MBM; and achieving long-term aviation sustainability.
According to ATAG, around 300 delegates are expected to attend the event, which takes place September 29-30, and various industry bodies are due to make announcements on aviation and climate change action. ATAG Executive Director Michael Gill says it will be an opportunity to bring experts and leading figures from across the aviation industry together in one place.
“There are a number of key environment challenges that the industry is working on, together with governments,” he said. “Climate change is a subject that all parts of society is tackling. Aviation has taken a proactive approach and united together to advance its own plans, including ambitious goals for reducing emissions. We will be discussing those goals and the measures being taken to meet them at the Summit – including the important work to design a global MBM for air transport from 2020.”