Zero carbon emissions by 2050

A stronger future

More than 20 associations collectively representing the entire European aviation ecosystem, Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have announced a joint commitment to work. According to this commitment, the target is to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The commitment is part of a comprehensive collaboration analysis published on November 16, 2020, detailing the ways in which aviation can recover from the COVID-19 crisis in a sustainable and more resilient way while supporting the European Union’s (EU) Green Deal goals. The commitments will help build a greener and more socially and economically strong future for aviation.

Confidence in the aviation industry must be restored

Calling for a comprehensive Aviation Assistance Program to rebuild the industry, the authors of the Aviation Roundtable Report call attention to the critical importance of restoring public confidence in aviation as a key priority and an urgent prerequisite for achieving recovery. In addition, the report emphasizes that it is vital to maintain connectivity, skills and employment, and to protect the European internal market and competitiveness, in order to recover aviation from COVID-19, improve its management, and make European aviation more resilient to future shocks.

The report calls on EU leaders to join and actively support an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation by the end of 2021, contributing to the necessary policy and financial framework to ensure that European aviation meets its sustainability commitments. This appears to ensure that recovery efforts are fully aligned with European citizens’ expectations for cleaner transport, aviation workers’ needs for a socially sustainable and responsible aviation industry, balanced by aviation stakeholders’ desire for a strong, safe and coordinated recovery from the crisis.

Five items to be implemented first

Striving for an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future, the authors of the report state: “The European aviation sector believes that, given the right policies, its recovery is fully compatible and should accompany broader efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Therefore, the industry is determined to continue its efforts to reduce its negative environmental impacts, both locally and globally. The European aviation sector invites European and national policymakers to become strong partners in achieving these goals. Thus, this contributes collectively to the implementation of the European Green Deal. Private Aircraft chartering and use, which constitutes an important part of the sector, is one of the important issues that should be discussed.”

The pandemic has had a profound impact on workers in the aviation industry, with thousands of jobs currently at risk. The design and implementation of the recovery strategy should take into account the needs of all aviation workers. These should be fully reflected in the social dimension of the EU Sustainable Aviation Pact.