Climate change


At ATAG’s 2008 Aviation & Environment Summit, aviation leaders delivered a strategic vision for aviation’s sustainable development when the CEOs and presidents of all major global players in aviation signed the Commitment to Action on Climate Change.

This unprecedented commitment by a constellation of aviation leaders was the first stage in a process guided by ATAG which saw aviation become the first industry to have a long-term plan to tackle its climate change impacts. This commitment by the industry has placed aviation a step ahead of many other industries and provided the impetus that is helping the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) redouble its efforts to put a regulatory framework in place to reduce aviation’s emissions. In 2009, the ATAG Board developed a set of environmental targets. These were agreed in the same year by the IATA Board and the IATA Annual General Meeting. They included:

  • improving fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020;
  • stabilising emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth;
  • an aspirational goal to reduce net emissions from aviation by 50% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.

ATAG used the targets to develop a global industry position. This position was then introduced to governments at the ICAO High Level Meeting on Climate Change in 2009 and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate talks in Copenhagen that year, as well as at the 2010 ICAO Assembly where they formed the centrepoint of discussions.

The industry position paper recognised the need to address the global challenge of climate change and encouraged governments to ensure that emissions from aviation are addressed in any post-Kyoto framework through a global sectoral approach guided by targets and principles. This position paper had a strong, forward-looking and united vision for aviation and called for aviation to be treated globally as a separate sector.

ATAG has coordinated and led aviation representation at the global climate negotiations, taking place under the auspices of the UNFCCC. Taking such a proactive stance in these negotiations since COP15 in Copenhagen has ensured that aviation is now seen as part of the solution, rather than simply as an industry to be taxed. ATAG and industry representatives at the negotiations are now actively sought as experts whose knowledge can be tapped.

ATAG has also coordinated the industry position ahead of the 38th ICAO Assembly in September 2013 - a special page on this can be found on the ATAG website.

The ATAG information paper for COP19 in Warsaw (2013) can be downloaded here.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is in the process of being released. ATAG is publishing a summary of the findings, as the subsidiary reports are released: