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Governments urged to help aviation industry achieve climate goals

May 31 2017 17:15
Carin Smith

Leipzig – Governments have a key role to play in achieving the aviation industry’s climate goals, Michael Gill, executive director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group, said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the annual International Transport Forum (ITF) summit of transport ministers in Leipzig, Germany.

He urged government representatives to support the air transport industry's plans to reduce the impact of climate change on its operations.

In October 2016 governments agreed at an International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) meeting to deal with carbon emissions growth as a single industry.

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia) comes into effect after 2020.

“Agreeing to Corsia was the first and very important step, but its smooth implementation is absolutely crucial to the success of this world-class measure,” cautioned Gill.

“First we need more states to join up for the initial, voluntary phases of Corsia. Capacity building is our priority over the coming years, as both governments and airlines prepare for the start of Corsia.”

He said although the scheme begins in 2020, a number of actions already need to be completed by 2018.

Apart from Corsia, the aviation sector’s climate action framework includes a longer-term goal to halve carbon emissions in the aviation industry by 2050.

“This would need a collaborative effort by the industry and governments. Radical new technologies and shifting the aviation industry’s energy source away from fossil-based fuels will be needed,” said Gill.

He pointed out that many commercial flights have aleady been undertaken on sustainable aviation fuel.

“We need this trend to continue and we need governments to support that process by adopting the right policy incentives,” said Gill.

Fin24 is a guest of the ITF at its summit.

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