Global tourism chiefs are piling on the pressure on world governments to urgently do more to help airlines lower their carbon emissions and meet stated 2050 climate targets.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has called on all governments to agree emissions reduction targets for the airline industry. Aviation industry group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said governments need to better incentivise the use of greener fuel.
Both bodies made their pleas while attending the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assembly in Montreal, this past week.
“We need governments to come together to incentivise and provide the right framework to ensure that we get greater production of sustainable fuels and that will be absolutely key, given the time available to achieve net zero by 2050,” said IATA director general, Willie Walsh.
“Sustainable fuels really do represent the best opportunity, and a very exciting opportunity – not just for us in the airline industry, but it should be seen as an exciting opportunity for governments and countries right across the world,” Mr Walsh said.
“What really needs to happen now is governments need to incentivise the production of sustainable aviation fuels. We need the traditional fuel suppliers to turn their attention to sustainable fuels,” Mr Walsh said.
“It is great to see some new entrants in the market, companies like Neste, who are producing sustainable fuels at volume and have ambitions to do so going forward. But we do need to see greater emphasis on the production of sustainable fuels.
“We have now aligned ourselves with the science and with the ambition of the Paris agreement. We will be looking to ICAO to get the global governments and regulators equally aligned and to agree on their long-term aspirational goal of net zero by 2050. I think anything shy of that, and this Assembly will be viewed as a failure,” he added.
“Anything short of ICAO agreeing to that long-term aspirational goal of net zero by 2050 will be a huge disappointment,” Mr Walsh warned.