Page 54 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2015 publication
P. 54
Summer 2015 European Energy Innovation


Aviation’s climate action takes flight

By Michael Gill, Executive Director, Air Transport Action Group

The modern air transport carbon dioxide per year, which down on fuel burn which is the
system connects the represents around 2% of total main source of aviation emissions.
world, flying over 25,000 human-induced CO2 emissions. Included in this pillar is the
aircraft across nearly However, robust action is being development of sustainable
50,000 routes. Each year over 3.3 taken by all sectors of the industry alternative fuels, which could
billion passengers and 50 million to reduce these emissions. decrease the carbon intensity of
tonnes of cargo are transported. jet fuel by up to 80%.
Over 58 million jobs and $2.2 Six years ago, the Air Transport
trillion in global economic activity Action Group (ATAG) convened The second pillar is related to
are supported by the sector. industry leaders representing improved airline operations,
airlines, airports, aerospace ensuring that all possible
While the socio-economic manufacturers and air navigation efficiency measures are
benefits of aviation are service providers and presented undertaken. For example,
clear, the industry also has a a shared strategic vision for reducing the weight of cabin
responsibility to address the aviation’s response to the climate equipment, seats and the amount
environmental impact of its challenge centred around three of water carried on board can
operations. Commercial aviation ambitious goals: substantially cut fuel (and CO2).
produces 700 million tonnes of The adoption of new landing
1. an average annual 1.5% procedures has the same
Michael Gill improvement in the fuel significant impact.
efficiency of the world fleet
(a goal which the industry is The third pillar focuses on
currently meeting with around infrastructure, driving air
2.9% annual fuel efficiency navigation authorities and airports
improvement); to improve airspace design and
operations and achieve optimal
2. stabilising net aviation CO2 efficiency.
emissions at 2020 levels
through carbon-neutral At ATAG, we are playing a central
growth; and role in representing the industry
at international negotiations
3. halving aviation’s net CO2 through the specialised UN
emissions by 2050 (when agency, the International Civil
compared with a 2005 Aviation Organization (ICAO),
baseline). to secure an agreement on a
global market-based measure
To meet them, the industry has (MBM) for aviation emissions.
been approaching the challenge This is the fourth pillar. Like the
through a four pillar strategy. global negotiations on climate
change taking place in Paris at the
The first pillar is the development end of this year, the discussions
and operation of new technology, around a global MBM for aviation
such as lightweight composite need to reconcile the desire of
materials and more fuel-efficient parts of the world to develop
engines. These steps will cut their aviation sector as a means
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