Airlines agree on carbon-neutral growth


The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 69th Annual General Meeting (AGM) overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution on ?the implementation of a Carbon-Neutral Growth Strategy.

With aviation representing 2% of global manmade carbon emissions, environmental issues have feature prominently at the AGM. IATA members had previously committed as an industry to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.

In his opening address to the AGM being held in Cape Town, Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, noted the airline industry recognised that reducing carbon emissions is a global challenge.

As a result of the unity amongst airlines, the European Union ended its controversial Emissions Trading Scheme which required airlines flying to or from Europe to pay an environmental tax – this involved collecting taxes for flying over non-EU countries.
“Today, they (IATA delegates) have come together to recommend to governments the adoption of a single MBM [market based measure] for aviation and provide suggestions on how it might be applied to individual carriers. Now the ball is in the court of governments. We will be strongly supporting their leadership as they seek a global agreement through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at its Assembly later this year,” said Tyler.

IATA said that aviation is the first industry to suggest a global approach to the application of a single MBM to manage its climate change impact. This keeps aviation in the forefront of industries on managing carbon emissions. It was also the first to agree global targets. And it was also the first to agree on a global strategy to achieve them.

An MBM is one of the four pillars of the aviation industry’s united strategy on climate change. Improvements in technology, operations and infrastructure will deliver the long-term solution for aviation’s sustainability, according to IATA.