Five leading European aviation associations, representing aircraft manufacturers, airlines, airports and air navigation service providers have welcomed the ambition of the European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, published earlier on 9 December 2020. The Strategy is aligned with and reinforces the sector’s existing commitments towards a sustainable post-crisis future for aviation – and sets the stage for concrete decarbonisation proposals which will be unveiled next month.
As part of the Aviation Round Table Report, published on 16 November 2020, European aviation committed to working with policy-makers to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This report was formally presented to and welcomed by Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean.
While the aviation industry is thus perfectly aligned with the objectives of the Commission’s new strategy for transport, the associations warned that the sector’s decreasing resources as a result of the COVID-19 crisis stand in the way – presenting a major obstacle to achieving the required goals. This will need to be factored in and fully addressed in the implementation of the strategy – both at EU and national levels.
The associations stressed the need for the Commission to work closely with the aviation industry in executing its strategy. This will ensure continued alignment between the industry’s own efforts and the accompanying regulatory framework. They reiterated their call for the Commission to embrace, engage in and lead an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation – a proposal made by the Aviation Round Table Report of which net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 is a cornerstone.
The proposed EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation would establish an innovative cooperation framework between industry and EU leaders, with joint sustainability targets enabled through an effective regulatory and financial framework.
As part of that, the associations also signalled the forthcoming publication of their industry roadmap Destination 2050: “A Route Towards Net Zero European Aviation” which is currently being finalised by independent consultants with expert input from the five associations. It will be launched to press and policymakers in the first weeks of 2021.
In their joint statement, the heads of the associations said:
“The aviation industry now looks toward our own ‘Great Business Reset’ as we recover from the disastrous impact of the pandemic. This is an opportunity for sustainable growth and resilience. But the devil is in the detail, and we need all stakeholders – including the Commission – to actively embrace and drive our proposed EU Pact forward”.
“Early in the New Year we’ll unveil our own ambitious plan to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and we are counting on collaborative discussions with the Institutions as we take this decisive plan forwards”.