ICAO announces United Nations to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in the aviation industry

by Benay Ozdemir
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As the aviation industry begins to pick up at a rapid pace post-pandemic, aeroplane manufacturers are rethinking sustainability.

Sustainability issues continue for the aviation industry as a United Nations body has agreed to a long-term aspirational goal for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Comprised of several European countries who fought for a more ambitious target, the decision was met with applause by 193 members at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) assembly, which is held every three years.

ICAO has made it prominent, announcing that reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 was possible as the change in technology and efficiency measures using better routes and airport procedures would reduce emissions.

“With an entire world of innovators now working to address related challenges, in air transport and many other technological domains, we feel confident that aviation will be able to fully decarbonise in the next three decades,” a representative from ICAO says.

“States’ adoption of this new long term goal for decarbonised air transport, following the similar commitments from industry groups, will contribute importantly to the green innovation and implementation momentum which must be accelerated over the coming decades to ultimately achieve emissions free powered flight,” says ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

All 193 nations have accepted the goal, however it is non-binding due to ICAO’’s non-regulatory rule.

China, backed by Russia, questioned the feasibility of the goal without more evidence. The nation argued that developed countries must provide financial support to developing nations who are still growing their aviation markets. 

Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050

Net-zero emissions has become an important issue for the aviation industry as a list of airlines and countries are reaching toward the goal to cut pollution levels. 

According to research by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the industry contributes to 2.4 percent of global emissions from fossil fuel use.

The method to achieve this relies on several CO2 reduction models which includes developing and implementing innovative technologies and investment in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

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