CO2-neutral growth goal of the civil aviation is at risk


Geneva - There is a countdown for civil aviation. The industry committed to achieving CO2-neutral growth from 2020 onwards. Despite an increase in capacity, no additional carbon dioxide is to be produced. By 2050, aviation industry should reduce CO2 emissions by 50% compared to 2005.

But without more support of the governments for sustainable aviation fuel, it would be hard to achieve that goal.

The problem is the cost,
said Michael Gill, director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). ATAG brings together airlines, airports, engine manufacturers and air traffic control services.

We need financial incentives from the governments so that airlines can afford the more expensive sustainable biofuel,
he added.

According to Gill, only four airports worldwide offer sustainable fuel: Los Angeles, Stockholm, Oslo and Bergen. Brisbane and Geneva will follow soon. Biofuel is produced from algae, plants or more often from waste.

Since the first flight in 2009 with biofuel, it took six years to make the 5,000th flight, but only three more years to the 100,000th flight,
Gill said. However, this is not enough in an environment where around 100,000 commercial flights have been carried out.

The goal of CO2-neutral growth was decided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016. In addition to more sustainable fuel, new engines, lighter planes, and better routing should also help. More than 70 countries, covering more than 85 percent of international air traffic, have committed to purchase pollution certificates for additional CO2 emissions by 2021. The revenue will be used to create forestries.

We would like to cover more than 90 percent of international air traffic,
Gill said. Missing countries are Russia, India, and Brazil. China, the US, and the EU states are there. The participation is initially voluntary, but from 2027 all countries except small island states must participate with international airlines.