IATA has set a target to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels, mitigate over 2.5bn tonnes of CO2 and generate at least $40bn in finance by 2035 for carbon reduction initiatives.
At its 75th Annual General Meeting (AGM) here at Seoul, the International Air Transport Association overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on governments to continue important work for full implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) agreed through the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
CORSIA is the first global carbon pricing instrument for an industry sector. It will cap net CO2 emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels, thereby achieving a carbon-neutral growth.
Supporting the landmark IATA initiative, many member airlines are investing in efficiency measures such as new-generation aircraft, and making forward buying commitments for sustainable aviation fuels.
Explaining the initiative, IATA’s director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, “Airlines know that effective plans to cut emissions are critical to earning their licence to meet the growing demands for air connectivity. 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 2.5bn tonnes of CO2 and generate at least $40bn in finance for carbon reduction initiatives.”
Meanwhile, the IATA annual general meeting urged ICAO member states to implement CORSIA as the single global market-based mechanism for climate change mitigation and avoid implementing overlapping or duplicate measures such as unilateral carbon taxes.
It called upon the ICAO member states to consider volunteering to participate in CORSIA in the pilot phase and align domestic regulations on the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions with CORSIA’s internationally-agreed standards.
“CORSIA is a landmark accomplishment. 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,” said de Juniac.
The AGM also looked beyond CORSIA to the next commitment in the industry’s climate action strategy — cutting net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. The resolution urged airlines to implement all available fuel efficiency measures and to participate fully in a long-term switchover to sustainable aviation fuels.
“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 commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel,” de Juniac added.
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