Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of ICAO, the UN’s agency for international civil aviation, told an industry forum today that the sustainable development of air transport needs concrete commitments and action on the environment.
“ICAO will continue to highlight the importance of air transport connectivity to the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the achievement of which will help humanity to eradicate poverty, fight inequality, and build peaceful, inclusive, and resilient societies,” Dr. Liu declared in her address at the 2016 ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Forum in Montréal. “
“Aviation today supports over 62 million jobs, and contributes some 2.7 trillion dollars annually to global GDP, but these positive socio-economic impacts must be based on responsible, forward-looking and concrete environmental commitments,” she commented. Her remarks come on the eve of a high-level meeting on a Global Market-Based Measure Scheme that the organization’s 191 Member States have been invited to attend.
Highlighting that flight and passenger volumes will double by 2030, Dr Liu drew attention to the fact that ICAO has been working on the challenge of emissions growth since 2010, when Member States agreed to strive for carbon neutral growth from 2020. Significant and tangible progress had already been achieved through the implementation of a “basket of measures”, including innovative technologies, more efficient air flight operations, the development of sustainable alternative fuels, as well as the extensive capacity-building assistance which ICAO has engaged in.
“ICAO has shown strong leadership in addressing the adverse impact of aviation’s activities on the environment, and we continue to demonstrate it through our progress on all of the mitigation objectives we are pursuing,” Dr. Liu concluded, noting that States, industry and civil society’s shared and mutually beneficial interest in greener aviation had facilitated the agency’s work to date for the sustainable development of aviation.