May 27, 2008

Asia Pacific nations target aviation emissions

Asia Pacific nations target aviation emissions

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

27 May 2008

The nations of the Asia Pacific region have joined together to tackle aviation’s growing carbon footprint, agreeing to set up a new high-level taskforce to advance pragmatic ways of limiting the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum’s new taskforce – the Aviation Emission Taskforce – brings together 21 member economies, including Australia, in a collective effort to find solutions to our greatest environment threat: climate change.

Having taken a lead on the issue within the region, Australia welcomes and strongly endorses the APEC taskforce.

Through the new Aviation Emissions Taskforce, APEC’s members will be able to:

  • Share information on environmental best practice;
  •  Develop practical approaches to support the work being undertaken by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and
  • Collaborate more effectively with industry on short and long-term strategies.

Areas identified for immediate action include: developing a better scientific understanding of aviation emissions; improving data collection and sharing; expanding the uptake of new navigational technology; lifting investment in aircraft and engine research; and exploring the feasibility of alternative fuels.

While the aviation industry is critical to the region’s continued economic growth and development, we cannot ignore the greenhouse gases planes produce.

At least two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by aircraft and the airports they use – a figure expected to grow rapidly if we continue with ‘business as usual’.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to experience growth in passenger traffic of 5.8 per cent per annum for the period 2005-2025 compared to global growth of 4.6 per cent per annum.

APEC’s new Taskforce faces the challenge of satisfying the public’s growing appetite for air travel while helping constrain overall aviation emissions. The Taskforce brings together both industry and governments in the region. Together we can help make aviation sustainable.

This latest action supports Australia’s pursuit, working through ICAO, of effective global action towards greenhouse emissions from international aviation.

Further information on the APEC Aviation Emissions Seminars is available at: http://www.apec-tptwg.org.cn.