The International Airport Transport Association(IATA) welcomed progress by states toward a long-term aspirational goal of net-zero aviation carbon emissions by 2050 at the recent high-level meeting. These aspirations fall in line with the Paris Agreement’s temperature objectives. 

In Geneva, the IATA recently welcomed progress by states towards a long-term aspirational goal of net-zero aviation carbon emissions by 2050. This is noted in the summary of discussions for the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) high-level meeting. Revealing aspirations that fall directly in line with the Paris agreement, an international treaty on climate change.

IATA net-zero by 2050
IATA centre in Geneva, Switzerland. © Eduardo Perez

The ICAO’s high-level meeting was held in preparation for the 41st ICAO assembly that will take place later this year. The notes from the discussions held at the meeting can be expected to be further addressed, if not announced, at the ICAO assembly held on the 27 – 30 September 2022 in Montreal, Canada.

The significance of this welcomed progress lies in the IATA, representing some 290 airlines, comprising 83% of global air traffic. 

“The ICAO high-level meeting’s support of a long-term goal for states that is in line with the aviation sector’s net-zero by 2050 commitment is a step in the right direction. A formal agreement at the 41st ICAO Assembly would underpin a common approach by states to decarbonize aviation. That’s critical for the aviation industry. Knowing that government policies will support the same goal and timeline globally will enable the sector, especially its suppliers, to make the needed investments to decarbonize,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

In October 2021, IATA member airlines committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. The path to achieving this will involve a combination of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), new propulsion technology, infrastructure and operational efficiencies, and carbon offsets/carbon capture to fill any gaps.

“Net zero by 2050 will require a global transition for aviation to new fuels, technologies and operations. The significant investments to get there will need a solid policy foundation aligned with a global way forward. That is why it is so important for states to carry the momentum of the high-level meeting through to a formal agreement at the 41st ICAO assembly in a few weeks,” said Walsh.

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