The assembly passed an historical environmental resolution, providing a roadmap toward a meaningful global agreement on aviation and climate change.
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for its work in reaching agreement on standards and policies in support of safe, secure and sustainable aviation. The assembly passed an historical environmental resolution, providing a roadmap toward a meaningful global agreement on aviation and climate change.
The climate change resolution adopted by the Assembly focuses on technology, operations and infrastructure measures as the primary means for addressing aviation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It reconfirms the rigorous emissions goals established for the industry in 2010 – annual average fuel efficiency improvements through 2020 and carbon neutral growth from 2020. In an important step, the resolution establishes a commitment to work toward a global market-based measure to “fill the gap” should the industry not be able to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 through concerted industry and government efforts through technology, operations and infrastructure measures.
Notably, the Assembly confirmed that the focus should be on global measures, and reconfirmed that local and regional market-based measures, before a global measure is agreed to, are not particularly favored and should be limited by a set of principles agreed in the Assembly Resolution and undertaken under consent between countries.
“We are pleased with the resolution adopted by the Assembly, and believe it represents a significant step forward in ensuring that commercial aviation remains a green engine of economic growth around the world,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.
A4A and its member airlines have a long-standing commitment to improving fuel efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint. Between 1978 and 2012, the U.S. airline industry improved its fuel efficiency by 120 percent, resulting in 3.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) savings — the equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road in each of those years. The U.S. aviation industry supports a global sectorial approach for addressing emissions from airline operations, to be overseen by ICAO, the United Nations’ body charged with setting standards and recommended practices for international aviation.
A4A Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Nancy Young noted the airline industry’s environmental accomplishments and praised passage of the ICAO resolution.
“The U.S. aviation industry has an exceptional environmental track record, and remains committed to further advancing its environmental stewardship,” said Young. “Today’s resolution reaffirms the global commitment by airlines and governments to continue moving forward with meaningful, workable solutions to address climate change and achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 – a true win for airlines, their customers and our environment.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs.
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