ICAO: Progress towards implementing cleaner energies for global aviation


IATACrucially important consultations on the development, financing, and deployment of cleaner energies for aviation, have concluded at ICAO’s Montreal Headquarters. The “2023 ICAO Stocktaking on Aviation in-Sector CO2 Emissions Reductions and Pre-CAAF/3 Policy and Finance Consultation” event tracked progress towards the achievement of aviation’s long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and set the stage for States’ policy recommendations at the Third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3), which will take place in November in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“ICAO’s Stocktaking events provide a highly enriching opportunity for learning about all the key novel developments and the innovations that are taking place towards aviation decarbonisation  worldwide,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “I am heartened by the many partnerships and collaboration initiatives, many involving ICAO, aimed at enabling key innovative solutions for a more climate resilient and sustainable development of international aviation.”

The President of the ICAO Council, Salvatore Sciacchitano echoed these remarks, highlighting “the importance of the ICAO Stocktaking as a source of inspiration and new ideas to catalyse collaborations, partnerships, and financing towards the ultimate goal of aviation decarbonisation, and stressing the need for further consultations amongst States and stakeholders to define a clear ICAO global framework at the CAAF/3.”

Over 1000 participants registered for the three-day event, where nearly 100 panellists from governments, aviation and energy stakeholders, research institutions, start-up companies and civil society shared their visions, ambitious plans and roadmaps for decarbonising aviation for energy transition. All the sessions held during the event were moderated by female leaders in aviation, reflecting the sector’s efforts towards gender equality.

The keynote address was delivered by French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS) Chairperson Guillaume Faury. It highlighted ICAO’s major role in decarbonising aviation: a sector that, as shown during the Paris Airshow, is focused on green innovations in support of the LTAG adopted by ICAO Member States.

This set the stage for the impressive number of solutions and innovative technologies that were presented during the Stocktaking. These included advanced and novel aircraft technologies, operational improvements both in the air and on the ground, and opportunities to expand the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF) and other cleaner energies for aviation.

A special focus was given to the theme of financing, including the importance of blended finance and the role of public and private institutions. Financial institutions presented their views, needs, and challenges to support green funding for cleaner energy aviation projects. Discussions also addressed the importance of  capacity development and implementation support to facilitate access to such funding, including the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships, feasibility studies, and policy implementation roadmaps.

An exhibition on SAF was also offered to illustrate the various stages of the fuel-related supply chain, and to engage with the different stakeholders involved in the production of SAFLCAF, and emerging renewable energy technologies.

Several tools to support decarbonisation efforts were also launched by ICAO during the event. The ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for SAF (ACT-SAF) Feasibility Study Guide & Template will encourage greater coherence across such studies and facilitate potential funding opportunities, while a new package of video series on the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will facilitate the consideration of aviation fuel’s sustainability and its certification.

ICAO also released the latest addition to its successful Carbon Emissions Calculator (or ICEC) which computes the amount of CO2 emissions from a given flight. It now includes an air-freighter calculator that allows the estimation of carbon emissions on the basis of the weight, departure, and arrival airports of the package shipped. The next step in the lead-up to CAAF/3 will be the ICAO pre-CAAF/3 Outcomes Consultation at ICAO Headquarters in September. Delegates at this pre-event will seek a convergence of views on many issues.


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