Commonwealth Governments have the perfect opportunity to unite for aviation climate action

KIGALI and LONDON, 30 June 2022 – A week after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted by Rwanda, a group of States from the association met with aviation industry experts today to discuss the decarbonisation of air transport.

Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group, Haldane Dodd urged Commonwealth Governments to use the forum as a way to explore adoption of a long-term climate goal at the ICAO Assembly. “The Commonwealth is a unique collection of 56 countries – ranging from some of the most populous in the world to some of the smallest and with countries at all levels of development. It is a microcosm of the United Nations as a whole and a perfect place to talk about some of the big challenges facing our world, including climate change. Developing a long-term climate goal for the global aviation sector will require intense negotiations as countries from across the development spectrum bring in their own experiences and needs to the discussions.

“As we pursue an agreement at ICAO, discussion must turn to the means of implementation. How do we ensure that all countries are able to implement measures to help the industry reduce carbon emissions? How do we share knowledge between States and arrange financing for the transition around the world? These are important enabling factors to help facilitate aviation climate action in all countries."

Today’s discussion, hosted by Rwanda and the United Kingdom, brought together representatives from 10 Commonwealth countries including Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Rwanda and the United Kingdom. Delegates were urged to consider joining existing commitments pursuing a net-zero goal at the upcoming ICAO Assembly, including the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition. In total, 54 countries have already committed to a net-zero long-term goal at ICAO.