Inclusive green recovery for aviation highlighted by ICAO at P4G Summit

1 June 2021 – Speaking at the 2021 P4G Summit, a leading global acceleration event for market-based partnerships in developing countries, hosted by the Republic of Korea, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu emphasized that governments have an important role to play in addressing this year’s P4G theme of inclusive green recovery towards carbon neutrality.

“I have been inspired by the high degree of innovation now being focused on the challenge of aviation sustainability,” Dr. Liu commented, noting that this speaks to the fact that “we can and must determine a sustainable path for air transport without sacrificing our shared connections to each other and our world.”

She furthermore stressed that “ultimate success in these objectives will require us to efficiently and holistically assess the technology, financing, infrastructure, policy, and other important perspectives this work engages.”

Dr. Liu emphasized that of the 193 countries who cooperate together in international air transport under the Chicago Convention, a group representing 68% of the global economy and 61% of its emissions have already committed to national net zero emissions targets by 2050.

As these and other ICAO Member States now explore a new Long Term Aspirational Goal for international flight emissions through the UN aviation agency, in advance of its 41st Assembly in October 2022, she invited them “to take bold action through ICAO to meet our shared climate objectives to contribute to the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

While COVID-19 has presented profound challenges to the international community, and to international aviation more acutely than many other sectors, Dr. Liu noted that the shut down has also provided an important opportunity to build back better in terms of in-sector aviation sustainability, and that many airlines are already re-evaluating traditional technologies and businesses approaches, and taking older, more emissions-intensive aircraft permanently out of service.

“Solidarity in how we optimize these evolutions is essential,” she underscored, “and I’m encouraged that governments have been continuing to collaborate with industry and civil society throughout the pandemic on the current and comprehensive ICAO environmental work programme. Many are also maintaining ICAO State Action Plans to reduce national in-sector CO2 reductions, and I would call upon them to update these as a matter of urgency.”

Dr. Liu also drew the attention of national decision makers to the fact that governments can go still further in these ambitions by assuring that pandemic bailouts for national airlines “come with clear sustainability strings attached.”

The 2021 P4G Summit is seen as a key international venue to boost market-based partnerships and rally high-level political and private sector action to scale innovative solutions in P4G partner countries, and beyond. The event is seen a steppingstone to the upcoming COP26 and provides a global opportunity for countries to step up their ambitions and show the alignment of P4G partnerships with the global action agenda.

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