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IATA resolution urges airlines to switch to sustainable aviation fuels

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has approved a resolution calling on governments to continue working towards the implementation of CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

CORSIA, which was agreed through the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will cap net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels to achieve carbon-neutral growth.

“Airlines know that effective plans to cut emissions are critical to earning their license to meet the growing demands for air connectivity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of IATA. “In fact the strongest demand growth is in the developing world, reflective of aviation’s contribution to 15 of 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. CORSIA sets the stage by capping emissions at 2020 levels. Between 2020 and 2035 it will mitigate over 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 and generate at least $40 billion in finance for carbon reduction initiatives.”

During its 75th AGM, ICAO member states were encouraged to:

  • Implement CORSIA as the single global market-based mechanism for climate change mitigation and avoid implementing duplicate measures
  • Consider volunteering to participate in CORSIA’s pilot phase
  • Align domestic regulations on the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions with CORSIA standards

“CORSIA is a landmark accomplishment,” de Juniac continued. “It is a concrete, well-defined way forward to cap global emissions from international aviation. States must not compromise it with inconsistent implementation or by adding a patchwork of taxes on top of it. Its vital mission is to stop growth in net emissions from aviation.”

Sustainable aviation fuels

The resolution also urged airlines to implement currently available fuel efficiency measures and to participate fully in a long-term switchover to using sustainable aviation fuels, such as biofuels.

De Juniac concluded: “CORSIA will stop our carbon footprint from growing. That is vitally important, but our next goal is even more critical—cutting net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. Airlines are investing in efficiency measures to achieve that—including new aircraft, better procedures and making forward buying commitments for sustainable aviation fuels.

“We will continue to make progress, but we need governments to be aligned in their policy actions. Along with implementing CORSIA, we need them to sort out inefficiencies in air traffic management and create the environment for the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel.”