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AASA & IATA: Aviation industry's Greenhouse Gas Emissions responsibility

Aviation is considered to be responsible globally for approximately 2% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). The airline industry acknowledges that it must play its role in reducing GHGE. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a set of targets which have been accepted by airlines worldwide, namely:

  • To reduce GHGE by 1.5% per annum from 2010 to 2020;
  • Carbon neutral growth from 2020; and
  • To reduce GHGE by 50% by 2050 based on 2005 level.

However, different jurisdictions are implementing regional solutions. For example, the European Union intended implementing its own Emission Trading Scheme with effect from 2012, notwithstanding the opposition to its introduction worldwide. The airline industry under the leadership of IATA supported the development of a global solution under the leadership of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). At the 2013 ICAO Assembly, agreement was reached to develop a framework for a globally accepted Market Based Measures (MBM) solution for presentation at the 2016 ICAO Assembly.  AASA supports this position and will work with the other Regional Associations and IATA to achieve this objective.

In respect of Southern African regional focus, AASA has convened an Environmental Committee consisting of Member Airlines, Associate Members, public and government stakeholders to develop awareness of global initiatives and prepare the industry for implementation of GHGE solutions in the respective states and aviation organisations. AASA will continue to be involved in regional initiatives being discussed for implementation in respective States. For example, South Africa intends to implement Carbon Taxes across all sectors in 2016. Domestic Aviation is currently included in this program, whereas International Aviation has been excluded pending the acceptable resolution of globally accepted framework for MBM’s at the 2016 ICAO Assembly.  

AASA opposes the introduction of Carbon Taxes for Domestic Aviation and its position is that for consistency and better control, International and Domestic aviation should be regulated by the same measures. It is also AASA’s view that any revenue derived from such solutions must be reinvested in the environmental program. This is not guaranteed through a Carbon Tax solution where such revenue will find its way into the general fiscus. 

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