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AASA & IATA: Aviation industry's Greenhouse Gas Emissions responsibility

May 20, 2017. AASA Priority Issue news. The aviation industry produces approximately 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), according to the United Nations Intergovernmetal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The airline industry acknowledges that it must play its part in combating climate change by reducing GHGE. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a set of targets which have been accepted by airlines worldwide, namely: 

  • To reduce GHGE by 1.5% per annum from 2010 to 2020;
  • Carbon neutral growth from 2020; and
  • To reduce GHGE by 50% by 2050 based on 2005 levels.

The airline industry, under the leadership of IATA, supported the development of a global solution by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its Environmental Protection initiatives. At the 2013 ICAO Assembly, agreement was reached to develop a framework for a globally accepted Market Based Measures (MBM) solution. AASA supports this position and, together with IATA, works with other regional associations to achieve the initiative's objectives. 

Different jurisdictions implement regional solutions, for example, the European Union (EU) has implemented the Emission Trading System (EU ETS), a cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The EU ETS is the world's first and largest major carbon market, and works on the 'cap and trade' principle

In respect of Southern African regional focus, AASA has convened an Environmental Committee consisting of Member Airlines, Associate Members, public and government stakeholders to develop awareness of global initiatives, and prepare the industry for implementation of GHGE solutions in the respective states and aviation organisations. AASA continues to be involved in regional initiatives being discussed for implementation in respective States with domestic aviation issues the priority focus.

AASA opposes the introduction of carbon taxes for domestic aviation as  its position is that for consistency and better control, international and domestic aviation should be regulated by the same measures. It is also AASA’s view that any revenue derived from such solutions must be reinvested in the environmental programme, and this is not guaranteed through a carbon tax solution where such revenue will find its way into the general fiscus. 

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