G8 leaders support a post-2012 sectoral approach for international aviation to accelerate emissions reductions
G8 Summit working session in L'Aquila
Fri 10 July 2009 – World leaders meeting at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, have called for attention to be devoted to sectors such as international aviation and shipping as they represent a “significant and growing” source of emissions. In a declaration issued at the summit the leaders affirmed they would use their participation in the UN agencies ICAO, IMO and UNFCCC “to reach an agreed outcome for the post-2012 period to rapidly advance towards accelerated emission reductions for the international aviation and maritime sectors.” The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the declaration and said the G8 target to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2050 was aligned with the aviation industry’s own goals.
The G8 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – said they recognized the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C. They therefore supported a goal of developed countries reducing GHG emissions by 80% or more by 2050 compared to 1990 “or more recent years”. They called for a goal for all countries to achieve at least a 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050. The leaders have been criticized in some quarters, notably by the head of the UN, Ban-Ki Moon, for not setting a mid-term goal to 2020.
The declaration also said the private sector would be an essential player in the efforts to address climate change and should be engaged with more actively to bring its expertise into the international framework and enhance information exchange and partnerships between governments and businesses.
“In line with the Summit Declaration’s call for business and government cooperation, IATA looks forward to working with governments in the ICAO and UNFCCC processes to help develop details of a global sectoral approach for aviation and climate change,” responded Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Following a recent IATA commitment, the commercial aviation industry has agreed to a 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel efficiency between now and 2020, carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and a 50% absolute reduction in aviation emissions by 2050 compared with 2005.
“The G8 Summit declaration is absolutely aligned with the aggressive targets that aviation has set,” said Bisignani. “Commercial aviation is the first global industry to commit to a carbon-neutral growth target by 2020. We have a solid track record of meeting our targets. In 48 months IATA led a successful campaign that brought electronic ticketing to every corner of the planet. By moving as a united sector, aviation will achieve our climate change targets as well.
“But aviation’s long-term success on climate change is also contingent upon governments playing their role. Governments must invest in more efficient infrastructure and support the development of biofuels with an appropriate fiscal and legal framework. Government and industry must work together.”
In order to achieve its mid-term carbon-neutral growth target, Bisignani said economic measures would be critical until “the full benefit of technology solutions can be realized”.
Bisignani said he welcomed the opportunity to work with ICAO and UNFCCC “to replace the developing patchwork of environmental taxes and charges with a coordinated approach that does not distort competition, credits airlines for every cent they pay and ensures that they pay only once.”