All players in the aviation industry are united in a Four Pillar Strategy on Climate Change focused on (1) investment in technology, (2) effective operations, (3) efficient infrastructure and (4) positive economic measures, he says.
“I am convinced that we are on the right track with respect to technology, operations and infrastructure. The fourth pillar—positive economic measures—needs our urgent attention,” says Bisignani.
The Kyoto protocol took a sectoral approach to aviation, recognising that the global nature of international aviation required a different solution than geographically fixed industries.
“As GIACC prepares for Copenhagen, three challenges must be met. The first is to marry the unified approach of the Chicago Convention that guides ICAO with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) that is a cornerstone of the UNFCCC process.
Bisignani also highlighted the achievements of aviation in reducing emissions. “The commitment of aviation to a global and effective approach on climate change has never been stronger. The economic crisis has not shifted our vision or diminished our efforts,” says Bisignani.
Progress in two areas was noted:
Fuel savings: Reducing fuel consumption reduces emissions. “In 2008 IATA`s efforts saved 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Working side-by-side with our member airlines, IATA`s Green Teams identified savings between 3 and 12% of fuel consumption at each airline visited. We also worked with air navigation service providers resulting in 214 more direct routings and better terminal area management at 103 airports. Our target for this year is to save a further 10 million tonnes,” adds Bisignani.
Biofuels: Recent successful tests by Continental, JAL, Air New Zealand and Virgin proved that next generation sustainable biofuels work. “We have made amazing progress. Certification by 2010 or 2011 is a real possibility. Biofuels may even hold the promise of improved fuel efficiency on top of the potential to reduce emissions by up to 80% over the lifecycle of the fuel. A successful biofuel industry would play an important role in energy security and could be a big generator of employment and wealth in the developing world. Commercial production should be a priority for governments encouraged by effective incentives in tax and regulatory frameworks.”
“In 2007 I set out a vision for aviation to achieve carbon-neutral growth on the way to a carbon-free future. This pushed the boundaries of what people thought was possible,” the pugnacious Italian further adds.