States adopt net-zero 2050 global aspirational goal for international flight operations
Montréal, 7 October 2022 – Culminating 2 weeks of intensive diplomacy by over 2500 delegates from 184 States and 57 organizations at the 41st ICAO Assembly, ICAO Member States adopted a collective long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The achievement of the LTAG will rely on the combined effect of multiple CO2
emissions reduction measures, including the accelerated adoption of new and
innovative aircraft technologies, streamlined flight operations, and the increased
production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
“States’ adoption of this new long term goal for decarbonized air transport, following the similar commitments from industry groups, will contribute importantly to the green innovation and implementation momentum which must be accelerated over the coming decades to ultimately achieve emissions free powered flight,” stressed the President of the ICAO Council Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano.
“Countries have achieved some tremendous and very important diplomatic progress at this event, and on topics of crucial importance to the future sustainability of our planet and the air transport system which serves and connects its populations,” commented ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar.
States at the ICAO Assembly also collectively underscored the importance of viable
financing and investment support to the new CO2 emissions goal’s attainment, and fully supported the new ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme to accelerate the availability and use of SAF – requesting in addition that a third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels be convened in 2023.
Other notable environmental developments at the 41st ICAO Assembly included the
completion of the first periodic review of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Countries agreed on a new CORSIA baseline from 2024 onwards, defined as 85% of CO2 emissions in 2019, and on revised percentages for the sectoral and individual growth factors to be used for the calculation of offsetting requirements from 2030 onwards.
The historic outcome of the Assembly were acknowledged to be thanks to the
outstanding leadership and excellent chairwomanship of the meeting by Ms. Poppy
Khoza, the Director General of Civil Aviation of South Africa, and the first ever female
President of the ICAO Assembly.
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ICAO and Environmental Protection
41st ICAO Assembly Carbon dioxide emissions from domestic air operations are covered under States’ Paris Agreement commitments, while those resulting from the operation of international flights are addressed collectively under the Chicago Convention and the associated agreements States arrive at via their diplomatic consensus at ICAO.
In addition to the official nation state decision makers who collaborate together at
Assembly events, the multilateral discussions and outcomes are informed by key
contributions from industry and civil society groups who participate as official observers.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency which
helps 193 countries to cooperate together and share their skies to their mutual benefit. Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination has helped countries to diplomatically and technically realize a uniquely rapid and dependable network of global air mobility, connecting families, cultures, and businesses all over the world, and promoting sustainable growth and socio-economic prosperity wherever aircraft fly.
As it enters a new era of digitization, and of incredible new flight and propulsion innovations, air transport is relying more than ever on ICAO’s expert support and
technical and diplomatic guidance to help chart a new and exciting future for
international flight. ICAO is innovating itself to answer this call, and expanding its
partnerships among UN and technical stakeholders to deliver a strategic global vision and effective, sustainable solutions.