Agreement was reached that civil aviation will aim for net-zero emissions by 2050

Agreement was reached that civil aviation will aim for net-zero emissions by 2050


Members of the UN aviation agency reached an agreement on Friday to try to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from aviation by 2050 – often criticized for its outsized role in climate change.

The gathering, which brought together representatives from 193 nations at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s headquarters in Montreal, reached “an historic agreement on a collective long-term target (LTAG) of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050!” the UN agency said in a Twitter message.

It added that it “remains committed to much more ambition and investment from governments to ensure aviation is fully decarbonized by 2050 or sooner.”

“It’s an excellent result,” a diplomatic source told AFP, revealing that only four countries – including China, the main driver of global aviation growth – “had raised concerns”.

The aviation industry is under increasing pressure to address its outsized role in the climate crisis.

The industry’s transition to renewable fuels, which currently accounts for 2.5 to 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, is proving difficult, even as aerospace and energy companies make progress.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said airlines were “strongly encouraged” by the adoption of the climate target, a year after the organization endorsed the same position at its own general meeting.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh now said: “We expect much stronger policy initiatives in key areas of decarbonisation, such as B. Incentives for the production capacity of sustainable aviation fuels.”

Airlines say $1.5 billion in investment is needed between 2021 and 2050 to decarbonize aviation.

“The global aviation community welcomes this landmark agreement,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, head of Airports Council International, which represents 1,950 airports in 185 countries.

“This is a turning point in efforts to decarbonize the aviation sector as both governments and industry are now moving in the same direction with a common policy framework,” he said in a statement.

– Offer is non-binding –

However, the agreement was far from satisfactory for some non-governmental groups, who expressed regret that it did not go far enough and was not legally binding.

Airplanes have come under particularly harsh criticism because, according to a much-cited 2018 study by Nordic researchers, only about 11 percent of the world’s population fly each year.

Additionally, 50 percent of airline emissions come from the 1 percent of travelers who fly the most, she found.

“This is not the moment of the Paris Agreement for aviation. Let’s not pretend that a non-binding target will bring aviation to zero,” said Jo Dardenne of the NGO Transport & Environment.

She also expressed disappointment with optimisations being considered by delegates from the sector’s carbon offsetting and reduction program known as CORSIA.

During the 10-day meeting, Russia also made an effort but failed to secure enough votes to be re-elected to the UN agency’s board of directors responsible for air traffic compliance.

Russia has been accused of flouting international rules by registering hundreds of leased planes at home instead of returning them, as required by sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The ICAO General Assembly was the first since the pandemic began, which has brought the airline industry to its knees: 2021 passenger numbers were half the 4.5 billion in 2019, marking a small recovery from the 60 percent in the previous year Previous year. Annual decline in 2020.

The industry hopes to have 83 percent of the customer numbers from three years ago in 2022 and to become profitable again worldwide next year.

More to explorer