Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Airlines Outpace Regulators on the Environment

The International Air Transport Association, the largest trade group for the global aviation industry, announced yesterday that it has established a climate change proposal on behalf of the airlines for the upcoming U.N. Summit on Climate Change in New York.  A press summary of the proposal is available through IATA's website here

This type of global thinking for the airline industry is sorely needed.  After the European Community absconded from its commitment to address the aviation emissions issue through the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2007, it appeared that the aviation industry would have to endure a new fractured regulatory regime over its operations.  IATA's proposal would restore ICAO's primacy of place in addressing international airline emissions and establish a multilateral solution.  From the press release:

“Climate change is a global problem. Aviation is a global industry. And we need a global approach for this industrial sector if we are to deal with climate change effectively,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“Mechanisms designed for ground-based polluters will not work effectively for aviation which can emit CO2 across borders and over the high seas even on a single flight. And already uncoordinated national and regional schemes are creating a patchwork of punitive taxes that fill government coffers, but do little or nothing to effectively manage aviation’s emissions,” said Bisignani.

“The Kyoto Protocol directed states to address aviation through ICAO. Its global standards and cooperation with industry have made air transport the safest form of travel. A global sectoral approach for aviation can leverage this same leadership to deliver results for aviation and the environment,” said Bisignani.

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