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  • International agreement paves the way for EU to adjust its own environmental legislation.
  • Airlines ready to support effective transition mechanism.

A4E welcomes the historic agreement reached by the governments at the 39th Assembly of the United Nations’ specialised agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on a global scheme to address carbon emissions from international aviation.

“€œThis unprecedented agreement is a milestone in the history of international climate change policy. We applaud States and the various stakeholders for working very hard through the ICAO system and finding the necessary compromises to establish the first sectorial deal to reduce CO2 at global level. European airlines, the aviation industry, other stakeholders as well as European institutions have been consistently advocating a global solution for many years. Following the ICAO agreement, there is now an opportunity to have a fresh look at environmental regulation in the European context and to review existing measures addressing CO2 emissions from aviation”€, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E.

A4E supports that the global system will apply equally to operators and that a majority of routes will be included from the start. This will reduce any potential competitive distortion which is important in order to preserve the competitiveness of European carriers and to avoid adverse financial and political implications. “We are ready to assist the EU in preparing an effective transition mechanism to ensure that airlines can comply with the global scheme and that they will be better aligned with other international airlines in their efforts to address carbon emissions,”€ added Reynaert.

The ICAO offsetting scheme will enable airlines to invest in sustainable carbon reduction projects. “This fair, uniform and global system is the most effective way to complement the continuous efforts of the aviation industry to develop cleaner aircraft, switch to low-carbon fuels and operate more efficiently in order to keep CO2 emissions at 2020 levels”€, concluded Reynaert.

About A4E:

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s new and largest airline association, based in Brussels. Launched in January 2016, the association consists of Aegean, Air France KLM, easyJet, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG),, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and Volotea, and plans to grow further. With more than 500 million passengers on board each year, A4E members account for more than 60 per cent of the continent’€™s passenger journeys, operating more than 2,500 airplanes and generating EUR 97 billion in annual turnover.