Addressing the 2017 Global Sustainable Aviation Summit hosted by the Air Transport Action Group yesterday, ICAO’s Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, delivered a strong message on the need for coordinated aviation investment and development, while providing important updates on the progress ICAO is achieving on the new Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
“Air transport’s role in economic development is more important today than ever before,” Dr. Aliu told the assembled aviation and sustainability leaders representing public and private sector organizations, “and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help to concentrate government and development planners on the varied means by which access to safe, secure, efficient and affordable air services brings direct benefits to civil society and local and regional commerce.”
ICAO’s key messages reinforced the fact that sustainable aviation is a driver for economic development, trade and tourism, and instrumental in facilitating humanitarian and disaster response to crises and public health emergencies. Special reference was also made to countries in special situations, for example the small island developing States (SIDS) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) for which aviation represents a particularly essential lifeline to the world.
“A well-supported and ICAO compliant air transport sector will bring tremendous benefits to cities and societies wherever aircraft fly,” Dr. Aliu stressed, “but so too will underdevelopment and lack of compliance with ICAO Standards raise risks and barriers to governments’ objectives for successful sustainable development.”
Regarding the ICAO CORSIA, which was adopted at the UN Aviation agency’s 39th Assembly in October of last year, President Aliu noted that States representing almost 90% of international flight operations had already committed to participating in its first voluntary phase in 2021. He highlighted ICAO’s progress on the international standards needed to support it, the importance of the ICAO CO2 Estimation and Reporting Tool (CERT) to help simplify the CORSIA Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) procedures, and commented on the need for reliable credits to be purchased by international aviation, without the possibility of them being used for double counting by other sectors.
In addition to the ICAO President’s keynote address, officials from ICAO’s Aviation Partnerships for Sustainable Development (APSD) initiative were also on hand at the Summit to conduct a workshop aimed at supporting governments’ efforts to achieve the UN SDGs under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Vienna Programme of Action and the Samoa Pathway.
Other ICAO updates to the ATAG event included the unprecedented progress achieved on the development and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation, and encouragement to attend ICAO’s upcoming second Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels to be held next week in Mexico City. Participants can register for the event here.