Transport ministers urged to support global offsetting mechanism for aviation

Leipzig, 18 May 2016 – Fifty ministers of transport from countries around the world are gathering in Leipzig for the International Transport Forum Summit, the theme of which is ‘green and inclusive transport’. At the ministerial opening session today, Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association delivered a message on behalf of the global aviation industry:

The speech can be seen here.

“We came together in 2009 to launch the first climate goals for any global transport sector. We need your help this year with our mid-term goal to cap net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020. The industry is looking to governments to support the ICAO work on developing a global offsetting scheme for international aviation.”

“A well-designed global offsetting scheme will help us to balance our climate responsibilities with a pragmatic, simple and cost-effective international solution. As a sector, we take pride in our ability to collaborate. It is one of the ways in which we have grown such an enviable record in safety. On this issue too, we collaborate. Day-in, day-out at airports and airlines, air navigation service providers, makers of aircraft and engines and throughout the supply chain, our experts are working to make air travel even more efficient.”

“In Montreal this September, we would like to collaborate with your governments as well, to help support a global offsetting scheme for air transport and to provide a clear path for our sector’s climate future.”

Governments are currently negotiating the world’s first agreement on developing a global market mechanism for a single sector. Negotiators at a high level meeting in Montreal last week started converging on a proposal which would be presented at the upcoming ICAO Assembly in September this year.

Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group noted that, whilst difficult negotiations remained on a couple of key areas: “the high level meeting has demonstrated that ICAO is the right place for these discussions. Delegations have been showing impressive efforts to consolidate the negotiating text and come to an agreement. We are encouraged by all parties’ willingness to engage pragmatically in the negotiations.”

Gill continued: “There are large parts of the new working text which the aviation industry can support and which will provide a solid basis for the world’s first global market mechanism. However, we are also eager to ensure that the scheme covers a high level of global air traffic and would encourage governments to have this in mind as the negotiations continue. The industry is ready to play its role and we further encourage governments to deliver a deal with concrete parameters that allows us to start implementation from 2020.”

The aviation industry has been a strong supporter of the process at ICAO, since it first proposed the measure in 2009. At the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in September last year, 28 industry CEOs and Directors General, representing over 90% of the global aviation sector, sent governments an Open Letter encouraging a strong result at this year’s ICAO Assembly. On Tuesday this week, a Communique was issued from another ATAG event, encouraging progress at this weeks’ ICAO meeting.

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Haldane Dodd

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