Asian airlines welcome “historic” emissions deal

Asia Pacific’s airlines have welcomed the global agreement on aviation CO2 emissions, which was reached at the recent ICAO Assembly in Montreal.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), which represents the majority of the region’s major carriers, was part of the industry delegation at the ICAO gathering. Andrew Herdman, director general of the AAPA, said he welcomed the resolution, which will lead to the implementation of the ‘Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation’ (CORSIA) – the world’s first carbon offsetting scheme for any global sector.

“The aviation sector has committed to ambitious environmental targets, and has been successfully pursuing a four pillar strategy including technology, operations and infrastructure improvements,” Herdman said. “This landmark agreement reached by representatives of 191 governments meeting at ICAO adds a further dimension to those efforts in the form of a comprehensive global market based measure.

AAPA director general Andrew Herdman
AAPA director general Andrew Herdman

“We commend the 68 states who have demonstrated leadership by their commitment to be a part of the voluntary stage of CORSIA when it plans to start in 2020.  We look to other states to follow this lead and declare their voluntary participation in the CORSIA,” he added.

The introduction of this global initiative follows years if intense and often acrimonious wrangling between the various parties. The European Commission’s attempts to implement its own emissions programme met with a fierce backlash from several Asian countries, including China and India. But the new CORSIA initiative is seen as a global solution – or perhaps a compromise.

The AAPA noted however, that further challenges lie ahead in ensuring that the scheme is implemented properly and effectively.

“Industry is committed to supporting ICAO in completing the technical work ahead which will provide the metrics, methodology and guidance needed to ensure a robust implementation framework,” Herdman stated.

Implementation of the CORSIA will be a major part of the industry’s goal of achieving carbon-neutral growth from 2020. And with Asia Pacific already the world’s largest aviation region – and set to grow significantly in the coming years – the participation of Asian governments will be critical in ensuring the scheme’s success.

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