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AEA Pressrelease 10 Oct.10

The Association of European Airlines, AEA, which represents Europe's leading 35 network airlines, today congratulated the EU negotiators on a global political agreement on how to curb aviation emissions. The AEA was referring to the "encouraging" results of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nation's agency for aviation. After difficult negotiations, ICAO announced yesterday the first global governmental deal to commit the aviation sector to reduce greenhouse emissions from international aviation.

"The airlines are ready to implement a global roadmap. But we need political will at the government level to commit to a global framework", said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. "This political agreement is therefore a crucial first step; further steps will evidently be necessary."

The AEA had consistently expressed concern that, without a global framework, intercontinental traffic flows would simply circumvent the countries and continents that apply CO2 measures. "Aviation is a global activity. Thanks to the leadership of Vice President Kallas, political consensus was achieved with all 190 contracting UN governments. Although this political agreement is a far cry from a global sectoral approach we advocate, it opens the door to further sorely needed constructive inter-governmental negotiations", said Schulte-Strathaus. "This is certainly preferable to the situation where the Commission, in the absence of this political ICAO agreement, would have sought to impose its EU ETS on third countries and thereby risked trade conflicts".

Schulte-Strathaus is adamant that not only European carriers, but in fact the global aviation community has subscribed to a comprehensive emissions containment policy, which promotes infrastructural improvements such as the European Single Sky, technological innovation and operational measures to decouple growth of traffic from growth of emissions efficiently and effectively. He said that there is no 'business as usual' for airlines when it comes to the reduction of emissions. "Contrary to the belief of some, there will not be a 300% growth of airline emissions by 2050. The airlines' CO2 emissions will have been halved relative to their 2005 levels by 2050." As an example, he refers to AEA airlines' investments in the development of sustainable alternative fuels, which have proven to be able to reduce aviation's CO2 levels by up to 80%. "With such promising potential, we urge the Commission to pursue the successful path of international negotiations on a workable regulatory scheme, and to avoid a single focus on punitive economic instruments and adopt a parallel approach to stimulate innovation. One cannot tax an industry to sustainability. Innovation is key."

Schulte-Strathaus concluded that the ICAO talks had shown what politically responsible air transport officials can achieve, despite the evident difficulties of overcoming completely different approaches from other Countries. "This is indeed promising. We are engaged in open and constructive discussions with Vice President Kallas", he said. "We share the same objectives: AEA airlines represent Europe's infrastructure to the world, Europe's citizens deserve clean aviation, now and in the future".

For further information, please contact: David Henderson Manager Information
Phone : +32(0) 2 639 89 76 Phone : +32(0) 2 639 89 72
Email: david.henderson@aea.be

Note to the Editor: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 35 European established scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry 340 million passengers and 5.5 million tonnes of cargo each year, operating 2,620 aircraft serving 630 destinations in 160 countries with 11,200 flights a day. They provide around 383,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of EUR70 billion

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