IATA calls for global approach to emissions trading schemes

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has repeated calls that any future aviation emissions trading scheme should be a global solution brokered by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting at its 2007 assembly.
Speaking at IATA’s annual assembly in Paris today, IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said governments must focus on achieving global solutions to carbon dioxide emissions including exploring emission trading options at ICAO’s next scheduled general assembly.
“It is no time to get distracted with regional schemes that are no solution at all,” he said.
He told delegates that IATA’s work on fuel efficiency had saved 11.9 million tones of carbon dioxide emissions and saved $2.4 billion in 2005.
Citing the proactive record of air transport on environment issues, Bisignani noted the disproportionately low contribution of air transport to climate change. “We are 2% of carbon dioxide emissions but we support 8% of global economic activity,” he said.
“Air transport is a responsible industry with a solid strategy to deliver global solutions. First, we must eliminate the 12% inefficiency in air traffic management. Second, investment in new technology will improve fuel efficiency – provided taxes don’t rob us of cash,” Bisignani said.
Hitting back at the myths surrounding aviation’s contribution to carbon dioxide emissions, the IATA chief said: “It is not true that aviation is the most polluting form of transport. Modern aircraft consume 3.5 litres per 100 passenger kilometres. Show me a hybrid car that can achieve that.”
Robert Milton, chairman of IATA’s governing board, said any emissions trading initiative should restrict itself to carbon dioxide.
“Technology is key with lighter material and more efficient engines driving progress thus far while alternative fuel sources need to be better explored. While infrastructure and operations should be further enhanced, taxes however do nothing for the environment and they limit airlines’ ability to invest in new technology,” he said.