The Aviation Blog

The International Air Transport Association on 3 June endorsed a goal of carbon-neutral aviation industry growth after 2020 — a goal called “CNG2020” put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The IATA resolution emphasized the role that the aviation industry has played and is playing in pursuing sustainability, and it calls for national governments to work together and with industry actors to develop a comprehensive, global plan, which the association said should include sustainable aviation biofuels and “market-based measures as necessary.” IATA also urged governments and member airlines to work toward the global plan under ICAO’s auspices.

A comprehensive, global approach negotiated and agreed under ICAO would have to be significantly more likely to achieve worldwide emissions reduction goals, as well as to avoid the burdens of a patchwork of regional mechanisms, such as the European Emissions Trading Scheme — the application of which to non-European airlines has recently been suspended pending ICAO negotiations. ICAO will take up the issue at its General Assembly this fall.

Boeing supports a global solution with industry leadership. Speaking recently at Carbon Expo 2013, Antonio de Palmas said that the road to sustainability winds between technology improvements and policy-making and, moving forward, success can only be defined by the synergistic junction of these two dimensions. Technology is the most powerful driver for sustainable aviation but policies are also critically important and the two dimensions must stay strictly intertwined. De Palmas also presented the three main technology trajectories that the industry is developing to reduce emissions :

  • Airplane efficiency
  • Flight operational efficiency
  • New sustainable fuels
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