Airline industry calls for single emissions standard

4th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

The global airline industry on Monday adopted a resolution calling for a single, industry-wide standard to manage emissions as it targets carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

The resolution was adopted with "overwhelming support" at the International Air Transport Association's annual general meeting, said Paul Steele, IATA's director of aviation environment.

"We want to avoid a patchwork quilt of measures where each state tries to solve the problem by itself," he told journalists.

As the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) mulls options to reduce emissions, IATA says the world's airlines believe that a single mandatory offsetting scheme would be the simplest way forward.

It will submit its position to ICAO, a 191-member-state agency, which holds its general assembly later this year.

In March, the European Union put its controversial carbon tax on intercontinental airline flights on hold until April 2014 while talks at ICAO continued.

"We're saying the most effective way to address this issue is by having a global rather than any regional or national unilateral initiative," said Steele.

The IATA resolution text urges members "strongly to encourage governments" to adopt "a commonly agreed, single global" market-based measure at the ICAO assembly.

This would be "applied to offsetting the industry's growth in emissions post 2020," the text adds.

It offers principles on how governments could set up the single measure, and use it as part of efforts to achieve carbon-neutral growth by 2020, which has been an industry target for several years.

"We're asking them to regulate us and put a measure in place that will help us reach the targets that we have on the table," said Steele.

The pact also includes provisions to ensure the burden of containing the industry's collective emissions would be fairly distributed among the different airlines.

The resolution passed with overwhelming support, despite objections from Chinese and Indian airlines.

The aviation industry contributes two percent of global man-made emissions, and currently pays $7 billion in emissions-related charges, according to IATA.

© 2013 AFP

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