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Willie Walsh calls for global system to reduce airlines' carbon emissions
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IAG  chief executive Willie Walsh will today call on airlines and governments to  support the United Nations’ proposed system to ensure the airline industry can  play its part in tackling climate change at a global level.

He  will also announce that IAG is the first airline group worldwide to set its own  carbon emissions targets. The Group’s carbon efficiency will improve from 95.4 grammes  of CO2 per passenger kilometre in 2015 to  87.3 by 2020.

Speaking  at the Aviation Leadership Summit in Singapore, Willie Walsh will stress that the  airline industry is the only sector that has agreed to reduce its net carbon  emissions with the introduction of an emissions cap from 2020 and a 50 per cent  cut by 2050.

These  ambitious targets can only be achieved if governments and airlines agree on a  global deal to address carbon emissions as proposed by the United Nations  aviation specialised agency ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). This  means that future growth in carbon emissions will be offset to reduce the impact  of aviation on the environment.

Willie  Walsh said: “A fair, uniform system will give aviation a clear and direct  financial incentive to develop cleaner aircraft, switch to low-carbon fuels and  introduce more efficient air traffic systems that eradicate unnecessary flying.  No other industry has anything like as comprehensive a scheme for reducing its  global CO2 footprint.

“A  global deal for aviation carbon emissions is the only way we can continue to  grow our industry sustainably to meet demand. This is a once in a generation  opportunity to develop an effective global scheme. We must grasp the  opportunity now.”

If  the UN specialised agency’s (ICAO) plan is endorsed, aviation ministers from  across the world will meet in Montreal in October to agree a global market  based measure that will be mandatory for the aviation industry.

This  will incentivise the industry to reduce reliance on carbon fuels but support  from governments is critical for these initiatives to progress.

“Developing  innovative fuel solutions is also crucial. We’re investing to develop biofuels  but governments should incentivise sustainable jet fuels in the same way they  do for cars. They are prepared to pay for research and development to have more  efficient cars yet airlines currently depend on carbon based fuels so need  support to deliver a sustainable future,” added Walsh.

Note to editors:

  • IAG is the parent company of Aer  Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.

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