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A4E Welcomes Historic Global Aviation Emissions Deal

  • 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.

“This 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

Launched in 2016, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation advocates on behalf of its members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued safe and competitive air transport market. With more than 720 million passengers carried in 2019, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 3,000 aircraft and generating more than EUR 130 billion in annual turnover. Members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of goods each year to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Current members include Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM Group, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG),, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair Holdings, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. Follow us on Twitter @A4Europe.