ATA commends ICAO member atates for progress on climate change agenda

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13-Oct-2009 The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today commended the 190 Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for confirming a comprehensive Program of Action at last week’s High Level Meeting on Climate Change.

“As the quintessential global industry, aviation needs to continue its significant progress in fuel and greenhouse gas efficiency under an international framework,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May. “The ICAO States confirmed that they are prepared to provide such a framework, with key elements agreed at last week’s High Level Meeting and a plan for developing and agreeing further elements in the next year.”

ATA had joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization and International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations in putting forth a proposal for a global sectoral approach to aviation and climate change, including three collective and sequential targets

  • Improving fuel (and CO2) efficiency by an average of 1.5 percent annually to 2020;
  • Making the growth of the industry’s emissions carbon neutral from 2020; and
  • Achieving a goal for a 50 percent net reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, compared to 2005.

The industry proposal also urged adoption of a policy framework necessary for these targets, including having governments move forward with modernization of air traffic control systems – the Next Generation Air Transportation System program in the United States – and investments in research and development and sustainable alternative aviation fuels (see the aviation industry submission to the ICAO High Level Meeting and the ATA climate change policy).

“While stopping short of adopting the comprehensive set of proposals forwarded by the aviation industry, the ICAO Member States laid the groundwork for them, by endorsing continuing fuel efficiency improvements as the backbone for aviation emissions management, agreeing that additional goals – such as carbon-neutral growth in the medium term – need to be considered, and prompting States to invest in technology, infrastructure and sustainable alternative aviation fuels,” said May. “We urge the ICAO States to build on this foundation over the next year, to fully endorse a global sectoral approach to aviation and climate change.”