MONTRÉAL, 18 October 2011 – Experts on sustainable alternative fuels for aviation from around the world are gathering today in Montréal for a three-day workshop at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Headquarters to look at the progress made worldwide in the development and deployment of alternative fuels and to discuss the way forward.
Topics to be discussed include the state of the global harmonization of life cycle analysis methodologies, access to financing, sustainability criteria, and legal and regulatory frameworks which ensure the availability of supplies of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation.
ICAO has identified 300 initiatives on alternative fuel production and deployment. There are now five major consortia established and working on alternative fuels for aviation. Commercial flights using alternative fuels are no longer just a concept. Almost 30 test flights have successfully taken place and, this year, some commercial scheduled flights using these fuels are in full operation. It means we are already flying with alternative fuels.
“This is a powerful indication of the progress that can be made by a single sector when there is the willingness to take advantage of a valuable opportunity for collective action towards a common goal,” said Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO.
The workshop will allow States to assess the role that sustainable alternative fuels can have as part of the measures available to them for inclusion in their action plans to reduce CO2 emissions, and therefore allow them to develop their own strategies. It will also form part of ICAO’s preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to be held in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro – also known as Rio+20 Conference.
“Countries will look to the UN system for guidance on the kinds of policies they can adopt to move along a green development path, stated Mr. Sha Zukang, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General for the UNCSD. The ultimate goal for the UN system should be the ability to present a concrete menu of policy options that assists all countries. The UN system has to lead by example.”