• Gennette Cordova

IATA urges EU to allot sustainability efforts towards aviation

Updated: Jan 2

If not for the fuel efficiency gains in flight this year, fuel burn and CO2 emissions would be 1.9% higher year-over-year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its semi-annual economic report on airline industry performance. The report, released Wednesday, went on to say that the lower fuel burn and carbon emissions represent about 17 million less tonnes of CO2 emissions, as well as saving of $3.2 billion in fuel costs for the industry and travelers.

This report comes on the heels of IATA publicly urging the European Union (EU) not to overlook the potential of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), as a part of the EU’s Green Deal.

"Aviation has high hopes for the European Commission's Green Deal,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, at the Sustainable Innovation Forum running alongside the UN COP25 Climate Talks in Madrid, Spain.

“We want to be part of Europe's building of a new energy economy and we will do everything we can to make sustainable aviation fuels a priority for aviation in Europe and around the world.” de Juniac also laid responsibility at the feet of major oil companies, which he says have expertise, distribution capabilities and financial power to make the greatest impact.

In addition to notes on sustainability, the IATA economic report predicted the total fuel bill for airlines will decline in 2020 due to the delaying effect of hedging and steadily low oil prices, a forecasted average estimate of just $75.6 per barrel of jet fuel, next year. As oil prices decline, it will become increasingly challenging for SAF, which has only been certified for commercial use for the past decade, to become economically competitive. However, the aviation industry believes that achieving 2% of global jet fuel from non-fossil sources by 2025 could create a tipping point for the production and cost of SAF.

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