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Zero emissivity by 2050. The industry has a goal

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By 2050, the aviation industry is to achieve zero climate neutrality – wrote in a resolution adopted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). To achieve this goal, airlines are expected to bring closer to sustainable aviation fuel, technology solutions in aircraft and infrastructure.

Held in Boston, United States, 77th IATA General Meetings attended, inter alia, by The management of LOT Polish Airlines adopted a resolution on Monday according to which the aviation industry will strive to achieve “net-zero” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

This commitment is related to the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

IATA aims to achieve zero emissivity

– World airlines today took a momentous decision to ensure sustainable flying. This will give future generations the freedom to sustainably discover, learn, trade, build markets, appreciate cultures and connect with people around the world. Thanks to the joint efforts of the industry and supporting government policies, aviation will reach zero net emissions by 2050, said IATA CEO Willie Walsh.

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At the same time, he admitted that achieving zero carbon dioxide emissions will be a huge challenge.

– The aviation industry must gradually reduce emissions while meeting the growing demand of the world that is willing to fly. In order to meet the needs of the ten billion people who are due to fly in 2050, carbon dioxide emissions must be cut by at least 1.8 billion tonnes this year. Moreover, this commitment means that the accumulated 21.2 billion tons of coal will be reduced by 2050, Walsh explained.

He added that a key direct factor enabling this is the international aviation carbon offsetting and reduction system designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

– This will stabilize international emissions at 2019 levels in the short to medium term. Support for this has been confirmed in today’s resolution, he said.

At the same time, he emphasized that achieving sustainable development in aviation requires the cooperation of the entire industry and the support of governments “to introduce the necessary and huge changes, including the energy transformation.”

Sebastian Mikosz: this is a historic resolution

IATA vice-president responsible for the environment and sustainable development, Sebastian Mikosz, told PAP that it was “a historic resolution”.

– This is a resolution of the IATA General Assembly that, as an organization, we commit ourselves to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 – Mikosza told PAP. He explained that this meant “de facto entering the same path as the Paris Agreement.”

Mikosz said that not all airlines were unanimous in adopting the resolution. – Here the relationship between the airlines and their national politicians is very important. We had official declarations from Chinese carriers that they are not ready to support this resolution because of the time we have allocated, he said.

As he explained, the point is that most of the lines speak of 2050 due to the Paris Agreement and the goals set. – Chinese policy is different in this respect; the Chinese economy wants to achieve this climate neutrality in 2060. So the 10-year difference makes Chinese carriers think they need more time – explained the vice president of IATA.

Mikosz said that there are several scenarios in achieving the undertaken commitment, and IATA will be held accountable for its implementation. – From now on, our industry will be monitored by everyone, primarily by passengers – he explained.

He pointed out that the implementation of this obligation involves, inter alia, with the replacement of aircraft by airlines for those more environmentally friendly. – This is already happening, airlines have been replacing planes for several years. Now our greatest emphasis will be on biofuels, new propulsion technologies, such as hydrogen, infrastructure, as well as carbon capture and storage and compensation, explained Mikosz.

IATA associates 290 airlines, including LOT Polish Airlines.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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