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Europe’s Aviation Bodies Commit to Reach Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050

Photo source: Euorpean Parliament / © shutterstock

Photo source: Euorpean Parliament / © shutterstock

Over 20 aviation associations, collectively representing the entire European aviation ecosystem, have come together and announced a joint commitment to work with policy makers to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The commitment is part of a comprehensive collaborative analysis – the Aviation Round Table Report – that details ways aviation can recover sustainably and more resiliently from the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis whilst supporting the European Union’s Green Deal objectives.

The commitments are said to help build a greener, socially and economically robust future for aviation.

Aviation organisations that have endorsed the Aviation Round Table Report.

Aviation organisations that have endorsed the Aviation Round Table Report.

Calling for a comprehensive aviation relief programme to rebuild the sector, the authors of the Aviation Round Table Report note the critical importance of restoring the public’s confidence in aviation as a key priority and urgent prerequisite in ensuring recovery.

In addition, the report highlights maintaining connectivity, skills and employment and preserving the European internal market and its competitiveness as vital to ensuring aviation’s recovery from Covid-19, improving its governance and making European aviation more resilient to future shocks.

‘EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation’

The associations highlight that urgent action by EU leaders is required to deliver policies that will enable their commitment, as “the sector cannot merely wait for a resumption of business as usual”.

Therefore, the associations have invited EU leaders to join and actively support an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation by the end of 2021 by contributing the policy and financial framework required to enable European aviation to deliver on its sustainability commitments.

“This will ensure that recovery efforts are fully compatible with European citizens’ expectations about cleaner transport, with aviation employees’ needs for a socially sustainable and responsible aviation sector balanced with aviation stakeholders’ desire for a robust, safe and coordinated recovery from the crisis,” the authors of the report said.

Photo source: Euorpean Parliament

Photo source: Euorpean Parliament

The authors underline that all stakeholders and all policy makers must work together to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from all flights within and departing from the EU by 2050.

“The European aviation sector invites European and national policymakers to be strong partners in reaching these objectives, thus collectively contributing to the implementation of the European Green Deal,” they said.

In order to further reduce aviation’s environmental footprint and achieve decarbonisation, the pact calls for, among others:

• An EU legislative framework to promote the uptake, production and deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs);
Funding and investments to enable the acceleration of low-carbon aircraft innovations, such as electric and hydrogen;
• An incentive scheme for fleet renewal, coupled with retirement;
Increased public co-funding rates for Civil Aviation Research & Innovation (Clean Aviation and SESAR) through EU recovery mechanisms;
• The revision of the Single European Sky (SES) and continuation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme / CORSIA.

European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean welcomed the Aviation Round Table Report “on what is needed to rebuild passengers’ trust, and for the recovery of this hard-hit sector, which remains critical for global supply chains and people’s mobility.

Vălean said that the report offers a vision of how to make the sector stronger, more sustainable and more forward-looking than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I applaud the commitment to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and the proposal to create a pact for social sustainability. This is fully in line with our ambitions for the future growth of the EU,” she said.

Press here to read the the Aviation Round Table Report.

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