International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and chief executive Tony Tyler. (Photo courtesy of the International Transport Forum)

Global Aviation Seeks Govt Support to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions


MAY 20, 2016

Leipzig. The global aviation industry is seeking support from governments around the world to develop a scheme for international aviation to cap greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onward as part of efforts to fight climate change, an executive at the Air Transport Action Group said.

"What we are trying to achieve is a balance between allowing the industry to grow and provide an economic and social benefit to society. Particularly in a growing economy such as Indonesia," Air Transport Action Group executive director Michael Gill told reporters on the sidelines of the International Transport Forum 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, on Thursday (19/05).

Gill's comment came after International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and chief executive Tony Tyler made a similar plea during a plenary session called "The Transport We Want: Green, Efficient and Inclusive."

"Whilst the Paris Agreement was a milestone moment for dealing with the issue, it did not include international aviation and shipping," Tyler said in his remarks.

He referred to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which will come into effect in 2020. The agreement calls on more than 175 United Nation member states — including Indonesia — to take the necessary measures to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

"The International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] had made significant progress on dealing with aviation emissions," Tyler said. "This year, that work comes to fruition and I am here to appeal for your governments' help to deliver a global agreement on aviation and climate change at the ICAO Assembly in September."

The specialized UN agency also aspires to support from the Indonesian government, whose aviation industry is among the world's most robust.

"The prospect for aviation in Indonesia is very positive. [It is] a country with a huge population," he told reporters.

The Jakarta Globe has approached the Indonesian government for comment but has yet to receive any feedback.

A local aviation expert, on the other hand, asked the government not to immediately agree on anything before making sure that the local aviation industry is ready for it.

"We are still facing trivial problems. We are not even sure how to pay our pilots' transport expenses," aviation expert Arista Atmadjati told the Jakarta Globe.

Arista was referring to a recent incident when thousands of passengers of low-cost carrier Lion Air were left stranded after pilots embarked on a strike over the delayed payment of travelling expenses.

"The aviation sector has yet to receive serious attention from the government, compared to land and maritime transportation. [...] Carbon-neutral growth in Indonesia is still far from becoming a reality. In the next four years, it will only possible for some airlines, such as Garuda," Arista said.

According to the Air Transport Action Group, the global aviation industry produced 2 percent, or 770 million tons of all human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) during 2015. That compares to a global total of 36 billion tons of CO2 produced during the year.

The same data shows that aviation is responsible for 12 percent of the total CO2 emissions produced by all modes of transport.