The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) brought a strong environmental message to a prominent air industry summit today, highlighting the importance of the upcoming UN COP21 event to the sector’s near-term and long-term goals.
The points were raised in a speech by ICAO’s Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, to the Air Transport Action Group’s Global Sustainable Aviation Summit which took place in Geneva, Switzerland.
“A positive outcome at the UNFCCC COP21 this December will be crucial to encouraging ICAO Member States to make further progress at ICAO’s 39th Assembly on reducing emissions from international aviation, including the agreement on a realistic and effective global Market-based Measure (GMBM) for international aviation,” stressed President Aliu.
The ICAO President also highlighted that action on ICAO’s emissions reduction goals requires adequate financial resources within the sector itself. To date ICAO and the air transport industry have been strongly united in their position against any proposals to use international aviation as a potential source for the mobilization of general revenues to finance climate programmes in other sectors.
“Reliable air services are too fundamental to local and regional development priorities, and States must consistently be made aware of the negative impacts which aviation taxes and fees can have on their longer-term, broad-based and sustainable economic prosperity,” President Aliu commented. “Your active cooperation in conveying this message will be paramount leading to COP21.”
In 2010, world governments agreed to improve international civil aviation fuel efficiency by two per cent per year, while stabilizing the sector’s CO2 emissions at 2020 levels through a variety of measures, including technological and operational improvements, alternative fuels and a global market-based measure(MBM). ICAO’s State Action Plan initiative supports this work by identifying voluntary climate actions and fostering the partnerships and capacities needed to realize them.
President Aliu also highlighted the importance of better communicating the substantial actions taken, and the progress being achieved by the sector in addressing aviation emissions.