Global Summit Showcased Aviation Carbon Reduction


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Global Summit Showcased Aviation Carbon Reduction

By Bill Goldston

September 17, 2010 - The global aviation industry has gathered in Geneva, Switzerland for the fifth Aviation & Environment Summit where members have discussed progress made toward environmental targets and its continued need to tackle environmental challenges. 

Following last year?s summit, the industry put forward the targets it says that it will cap net carbon emissions from aviation from 2020 and by 2050 will reduce its net emissions to half of what they were in 2005.

Representatives from the aviation sector have been working to convince governments that its targets are the most appropriate way to deal with emissions from aviation, a sector that was singled out in the Kyoto Protocol for different treatment to other parts of the economy due to its global nature.  


Paul Steele, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group which organizes the summit, said, ?Our targets are ambitious and they are unique no other industry has come together the way that airlines, airports, air navigation providers and the aviation manufacturers have. We should be proud of that, but the work has just begun. We have ten years to reach our 2020 target to cap net emissions. I believe we are well on our way?.  

The summit has provided a platform for announcements on a range of industry projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Importantly, it has taken place ten days before the world?s governments meet under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN agency responsible for regulating global air transport at their triennial assembly.   

Canso director general called for ?fundamental cooperative action? to reduce aviation emissions. At the Aviation Environment Summit, CANSO Director General Graham Lake used his keynote address to argue that if aviation is to survive in its present form in 20 years time, it needs to tackle environmental challenges, ?through fundamental cooperative action.? He also reiterated Air Navigation Service Providers? commitments to reducing emissions, and warned that ?no aviation sector will be immune? to the political consequences of failing to act. 

In outlining the CANSO target to reach 96% airspace fuel efficiency by 2050, Mr Lake argued that although some great projects were under way ?in every corner of the globe?, ANSPs would need to go further if the target is to be met. But he also explained that it was not possible for ANSPs alone to make the difference. Only through close industry cooperation could air traffic management programs deliver emissions reductions.


Mr. Lake concluded with a call to policy makers to recognize the unique economic potential of aviation links. ?Limiting aviation cannot stop climate change ? but restricting an industry that does so much to stimulate trade and investment will only slow down the spread of new ideas and technology that will ultimately help solve the climate challenge? he said. In a later session on infrastructure collaboration, Mr. Lake set the scene by comparing the aviation infrastructure system to the rail network, explaining how the current system needs collaborative action to maximize its efficiency. 

The Air Transport Action Group is the only aviation industry body that comprises the whole commercial air transport sector and counts among its members the large aircraft and engine manufacturers as well as the global associations representing airlines, airports and air traffic control organizations. Its mandate focuses on ensuring the future growth of air transport is sustainable and highlighting the economic benefits that aviation brings to society. Currently, it is ensuring the industry has a coordinated approach to tackling its climate change impacts. 

The 5th Aviation & Environment Summit is organized by the Air Transport Action Group and coordinated with the International Air Transport Association, Airports Council International, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization and International Coordinating Council for Aerospace Industries Associations.


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