Governments Urged to Support Global Deal for Aviation

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Enviro.aero, the only global association that represents all sectors of the air transport industry, reports from the 4th Aviation & Environment Summit.

Giovanni Bisignani

Delegates also showed that they would like to see the commercial use of sustainable biofuels, the introduction of new technologies and the support of governments in pursuing these objectives. Policy makers must support industry efforts to accelerate the commercialisation and implementation of aviation biofuels by enacting positive measures to attract investment and facilitate their introduction.

The aviation industry today urged the UN intergovernmental body ICAO to redouble its efforts to prepare a global sectoral framework for reducing emissions from aviation by December's global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. Delegates at the fourth Aviation & Environment Summit, being held in Geneva, Switzerland also called for a concerted push towards the use of sustainable biofuels on commercial flights.

"This year will be critical for governments in tackling climate change," said Paul Steele, Summit organiser and Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group. "The delegates were clear in their message to the governments constituting ICAO - that international aviation is ready and willing to be included as part of the next global climate deal and we need ICAO's leadership to drive the industry forward.

"Delegates urged governments to take a global sectoral approach for aviation rather than the current patchwork of national and regional emissions management schemes. Such schemes are generally ineffective in reducing emissions, are complicated for a global industry to administer and could lead to competitive distortion" said Steele.

"Delegates also showed that they would like to see the commercial use of sustainable biofuels, the introduction of new technologies and the support of governments in pursuing these objectives. Policy makers must support industry efforts to accelerate the commercialisation and implementation of aviation biofuels by enacting positive measures to attract investment and facilitate their introduction."

In the Summit Communiqué, released today, the industry set itself the target to produce a set of sustainability criteria for biofuel supply by the end of 2009. This would ensure that any biofuel feedstock supplying the industry did not compete for land or water with food crops.

Two significant announcements were made at the Summit. The first, which unites European industry bodies, is the most wide-ranging application of continuous descent approach procedures at 100 European airports by 2013. This was a direct result of the previous Summit and will save up to half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The second announcement was a global project to implement satellite-controlled Performance Based Navigation (PBN) leading to further significant cuts in carbon dioxide.

The summit was attended by chief executives, presidents and directors general representing all parts of the commercial aviation industry - airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and manufacturers. It also hosted environmental organisations, governments and, for the first time, sustainable biofuel suppliers to the aviation industry.

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Haldane Dodd
Enviro.Aero
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Daniel Easterbrook
Fleishman-Hillard
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