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Airlines hail historic carbon agreement

Oct 06 2016 19:04

Montreal - The 191 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) have agreed to implement a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia).

The agreement was reached by states attending the 39th Icao assembly, which concluded in Montreal, Canada on Thursday.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) in turn congratulated the states which, under the leadership of Icao, have achieved what it calls a historic agreement. The agreement involves the implementation of a market-based measure that will support airlines’ efforts to stabilise emissions with carbon neutral growth.

"The historic significance of this agreement cannot be overestimated. Corsia is the first global scheme covering an entire industrial sector. The Corsia agreement has turned years of preparation into an effective solution for airlines to manage their carbon footprint. Aviation is a catalytic driver of social development and economic prosperity," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO.

"This agreement ensures that the aviation industry’s economic and social contributions are matched with cutting-edge efforts on sustainability. With Corsia, aviation remains at the forefront of industries in combatting climate change."

READ: African aviation warms to carbon reduction – Iata

Corsia is set to commence with a voluntary period (2021-2026) after which it will become mandatory.

De Juniac pointed out that, by itself, Corsia will not lead to a sustainable future for aviation. That is why, along with this global market-based measure, the industry will continue to drive its four-pillar strategy on climate change, comprising improvements in technology, operations and infrastructure, complemented by Corsia.
 
"Today’s agreement shows what can be accomplished when we work together. The aviation industry understands that sustainability is critical. Airlines will continue to invest in new technology—particularly new aircraft and sustainable alternative fuels — to improve their environmental performance," said De Juniac.

"And we will continue to ask governments to do their part with investments to modernise air traffic management and with supportive polices to help commercialise sustainable alternative fuels for aviation."

To ensure that Corsia is fair and without market distortions, the scheme will include provisions to deal with special circumstances such as those of fast-growing airlines and airlines which have made significant investments to improve environmental performance already.

"This agreement marks the end of the process to gather the political will to implement a global market-based measure for aviation. There is still a lot of technical work to ensure effective and efficient implementation and to ensure the environmental integrity and administrative simplicity of the scheme," said De Juniac.

"In the coming years we will be working closely with Icao on capacity-building both for regulators and the industry."

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

icao  |  iata  |  aviation  |  carbon footprint  |  airlines  |  world economy
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