Massive turnout as aviation and environmental stakeholders take stock of upcoming potential for CO2 emissions reduction

Montréal, 8 September 2020 – Over 1,000 participants registered for the four-day ICAO Stocktaking Seminar on aviation in-sector CO₂ emissions reductions, which launched today. 

In her opening remarks to the virtual event, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu emphasized how  ICAO  had been very active in developing resources to help countries respond and recover from COVID-19’s devastating effects on global connectivity, and that one of the key principles established to help the network ‘build back better’ post-pandemic was to “Ensure Sustainability”.

“This event, therefore, should be seen as a testimony to the fact that, despite this downturn, governments and ICAO are committed to building the future the world wants and needs,” she highlighted.

In summarizing the decades-long actions taken by governments on aviation environmental protection through ICAO, including the upcoming offsetting of international flight emissions via CORSIA, Dr. Liu stressed that this particular event would be focusing on in-sector CO2 reductions being achieved via technological and operational innovations, as well as sustainable aviation fuels developments.

“Its sessions have been structured to help expand your understanding of what is possible in terms of aviation emissions reductions,” she said, “and you will hear important perspectives from innovators, civil society, and industry leaders, learn about some of the latest out-of-the-box thinking and proposals, and explore dynamic, real-world emissions mitigation solutions which are already helping to achieve our sustainable future.”

Dr. Liu took advantage of the very large turnout for the Stocktaking Seminar to call on the ICAO Member States, industry operators, and other virtual participants to join the Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation. 

“We established this coalition in response to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit,” she noted, “and a dedicated tracker tool has been developed to share information about its priorities and activities.”

In concluding, Dr. Liu drew attention to the new UN policy brief on COVID-19’s impacts on travel and tourism. She noted its insights with respect to how global connectivity shares such a complex and symbiotic relationship with our goals of preserving the natural environment, and how fragile communities and ecosystems can also be placed at heightened risk by reductions in international travel and tourism.

“This illustrates how our challenges in aviation environmental protection today refer not only to aircraft emissions, and why innovation and imagination will be just as important to the global solutions we seek as new rules or restrictions.”

The Secretary General’s opening address was accompanied by encouraging and inspirational keynote remarks by Valérie Plante, Mayor – City of Montréal, and Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. 
 
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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and guidance necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.

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