Regional airlines body joins call for climate change action

Regional airlines body joins call for climate change action

The body representing regional airlines in Europe has signed up to an industry-wide call for governments to join with the sector to take action on climate change.

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), which represents a coalition of industry partners working to promote sustainable development in aviation, has co-ordinated an open letter to governments.

It has been signed by 28 aviation industry chief executives and association leaders, including the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

The letter reaffirms a commitment to a carbon-neutral pathway for aviation through a range of measures, including those being developed at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, said: “The whole commercial air transport industry is united in its efforts to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency and renewable energy opportunities.

“Today’s letter solidifies that support with a personal commitment from industry chief executives that their businesses will continue to pursue our sector-wide goals of maximum CO2 emissions reduction.

“As an industry, we have already invested billions of dollars in efficiency measures and we now call on governments to help us further those efforts and support an even more sustainable future for flight.”

ERA director general, Simon McNamara, added: “ERA and its members take their environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and we are working hard to promote a sustainable future for the sector.

“Our members are already showing their commitment by complying with the EU emissions trading scheme, as well as implementing their own fuel-saving initiatives.

“ERA fully supports and endorses the protection of the environment, co-ordinating industry policy and promoting the aviation industry’s considerable achievements to reduce its impact.

“ERA also works very closely with ATAG and is proud to be part of this commitment by the aviation sector to drastically reduce CO2 emissions through meaningful market-based measures. However, government endorsement and support is vital.”

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, also called for global leaders to take action to cut carbon emissions at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva today.

The Airports Commission found that building and operating a third runway at Heathrow is compatible with the UK meeting its long-term climate change reduction targets.

The introduction of a mandatory global carbon offset scheme by ICAO would mean that the CO2 from the additional flights as a result of Heathrow’s new runway would also be offset.

Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow’s ambition is to be the world’s most responsible hub airport and to do that we must find innovative solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges, including those around carbon.

“We know we cannot do this alone, and we will continue to work with partners in the airport, and our international industry counterparts gathered at the conference today, to ensure we remain at the cutting-edge of green innovations and continue to deliver leading environmental results.”

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