International Air Transport Association aims for zero emissions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued four challenges to drive the air transport industry towards its vision of zero emissions.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO, is concerned about the negative reputation the aviation industry is gaining with respect to emissions and global warming.

The environmental track record of the industry is good: over the last four decades we have reduced noise by 75%, eliminated soot and improved fuel efficiency by 70%. And the billions being invested in new aircraft will make our fleet 25% more fuel efficient by 2020. This will limit the growth of our carbon footprint from today’s 2% to 3% in 2050.

But a growing carbon footprint is no longer politically acceptable—for any industry. Climate change will limit our future unless we change our approach from technical to strategic. Air transport must aim to become an industry that does not pollute—zero emissions.

The four challenges are:

Air Traffic Management: Governments and air navigation service providers must eliminate the 12% inefficiency in global air traffic management. Cutting air traffic inefficiency in half by 2012 will save 35 million tonnes of CO2.

Technology: The aerospace industry must build a zero emissions aircraft in the next 50 years. The first gaol is to replace 10% of fuel with low-carbon alternatives in the next ten years. The second is to begin developing a carbon-free fuel from renewable energy sources.

A Global Approach: Climate change is a global issue, requiring a global solution. The challenge is for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its 190 member States to deliver a global emissions trading scheme that is fair, effective and available for all governments to use on a voluntary basis.

Green businesses: The final challenge is for airlines to implement green strategies across their businesses.

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