Governments are being urged to support a proposed United Nations carbon offset scheme to ensure airlines can tackle climate change at a global level.
The call came from lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E) as it welcomed the European Commission committing to a strategy for “low emission mobility”.
Ambitious targets to cap emissions from 2020 can only be achieved if governments agree on a global deal to address carbon emissions as proposed by the UN’s aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, A4E claims.
This means that future growth in carbon emissions will be offset to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.
The airline group’s managing director Thomas Reynaert said: “A4E welcomes the European Commission’s commitment to the ICAO process and urges governments to reach an agreement at the October 2016 ICAO General Assembly to address international aviation emissions at global level.
“We call on all governments to support a global deal for aviation carbon emissions because it is the only way we can continue to grow our industry sustainably to meet demand.”
A4E expects a global carbon offsetting initiative to replace an EU emission trading scheme.
“The implementation of the global scheme should make existing and new economic measures for international aviation emissions on a regional or national basis unnecessary,” A4E said.
But Reynaert added: “The only fuel alternative available for aviation in the short to mid-term are sustainable low-carbon fuels but we face high prices and low availability.
“Some test and commercial flights have been carried out by dozens of airlines – among them A4E member airlines – and have proven their effectiveness.
“We are investing in developing bio fuels but governments should incentivise sustainable jet fuels in the same way they do for cars. Support from governments is critical for these initiatives to progress.”
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