New tool launched to help airlines meet climate commitments

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Airlines are serious in their commitment to reduce emissions. (iStock)
Airlines are serious in their commitment to reduce emissions. (iStock)
  • The International Air Transport Association launched a new tool to help airlines meet their climate commitments.
  • The target for the airline industry is to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.
  • IATA also called on governments to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel as a critical step to achieve the target.


The International Air Transport Association launched a new tool to help airlines meet their climate commitments.

According to IATA, the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE) is the first centralised, real-time "marketplace" that is integrated with the IATA Clearing House (ICH) for the settlement of funds on trades in carbon offsets. The clearing house ensures that ACE can offer a seamless and secure settlement system, which guarantees payment and delivery of the carbon credits.

A key step is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which will deliver carbon neutral growth for international emissions from 2021. Airlines are also buying carbon credits as part of individual carrier commitments or to offset domestic operations.

ACE will also be open to airlines wanting to invest in voluntary offsets outside CORSIA, for example those who have set net zero emissions targets, and those wishing to offset domestic operations. "Airlines are serious in their commitment to reduce emissions. And they need a reliable tool to access quality carbon credits in real time. ACE will be a key tool helping airlines efficiently manage these important transactions," said IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac on Wednesday. 

Airlines reiterated the industry's commitment to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050 in a resolution of the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting.

Jetfuel

On Wednesday IATA also called on governments worldwide to support the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as a critical step to achieving its target to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.

"We have long known that an energy transition to SAF is the game-changer. But energy transitions need government support. The cost of SAF is too high and supplies too limited. Putting economic stimulus funds behind the development of a large-scale, competitive SAF market would be a triple win—creating jobs, fighting climate change and sustainably connecting the world," said De Juniac.

"As the world looks to re-boot the economy, let us not waste this opportunity to create jobs and an industry that will yield huge dividends for the public good. If we can drive SAF prices down as we drive production volumes up, we will be able to sustainably connect the post-Covid-19 world." Government stimulus packages could help promote SAF through direct investment, loan guarantees and incentives for the private sector, as well as regulations that channel feedstock towards hard-to-abate sectors such as aviation rather than to other low-carbon transport industries. 

IATA estimates that stimulus investments could help boost SAF production to the 2% (6 to 7 billion litres) needed to trigger a potential tipping point to bring SAF to competitive price levels against fossil fuels.

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