Sustainable development

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Aviation is one of the world's great connectors of people, trade and tourism. It enhances the prosperity of communities it serves and provides jobs, skills and opportunities. As with any industry, it also has an environmental impact. ATAG and the aviation industry are committed to continuing to provide the many benefits of aviation, while reducing its footprint on our planet.

Sustainable development takes the three areas of economy, society and environment and finds ways of balancing the three interests to produce the results that will benefit most people. The subject hit the global spotlight in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit where the world's governments developed a number of key international agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In 2012, the UN again met in Rio de Janeiro to chart progress on sustainable development at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (otherwise known as Rio+20).

ATAG coordinated aviation industry representation at Rio+20. It gave the air transport sector a chance to outline the sustainable development actions it is already taking and further work with governments on the challenges of providing economic growth and meeting environmental responsibilities. ATAG was also asked to join industry groups from other sectors in Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012. BASD2012 was a coalition of leading international business groups who are committed to sustainable development with the overall objective to enhance the conference contribution to sustainable and inclusive markets.

ATAG published, in March 2012, Aviation: benefits beyond borders, to explore the various ways in which aviation contributes to the economy, jobs, the lives of millions of people around the world and how it is addressing its environmental impacts. “It’s a fascinating look at the scope of the aviation industry and our role in the world,” says Paul Steele, Executive Director of ATAG, “when you realise that aviation, if it were a country, would be the 19th largest economy in the world, supporting 56.6 million jobs and over two trillion dollars in economic impact, you really see the scale of air transport.”

Check the website: Aviation: benefits beyond borders