IATA chief calls on governments to deliver a global sectoral approach to reducing aviation emissions post-Kyoto
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO
Wed 27 May 2009 – Speaking at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, IATA’s Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, said governments should define a sectoral approach in Kyoto 2 with global accounting for aviation’s emissions through ICAO and open access for airlines to properly regulated carbon markets. By working together on a coordinated approach, he said governments and the aviation industry could make aviation the first global industry to achieve carbon-neutral growth. He estimated that aviation emissions will fall by 8 percent this year, with 6 percent resulting from the recession and the remainder from industry technology, operations and infrastructure efficiency improvements.
Bisignani said a global approach was already underpinned by three “ambitious” targets: a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency by 2020 compared to 2005, to use 10% alternative fuels by 2017 and a 50% absolute reduction in emissions by 2050. “We are already working to set an important fourth target: a date for carbon-neutral growth beyond which our emissions will not grow even as demand increases.”
In a session jointly held with Scandinavian carrier SAS (see story) he stated fuel efficiency had improved 23% in the last decade. In addition, he said, IATA Green Teams working to implement best practice operational procedures with airlines around the world had led to savings of 30 million tonnes of CO2 each year and IATA’s work to shorten routes had caused similar additional reductions of CO2 emissions.
He confirmed that IATA’s new industry carbon offset programme for airlines would be launched next month (see story) and said around 30 airlines now operated passenger carbon offset schemes.
Bisignani also outlined the rapid progress the aviation industry had made on developing sustainable next-generation biofuels. “But we could achieve much more, much faster with a fiscal and legal framework to accelerate research and reward investment. Governments must get on board,” he said.