No other transport sector has agreed to climate protection activities as early and comprehensively as the aviation sector. Since 2009, member airlines of the International Air Transport Association IATA are pursuing the goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. To achieve this objective, the industry adopted a four-pillar strategy which is being implemented successfully. It is therefore incorrect of the environmental Traffic Club Germany (Verkehrsclub Deutschland) to insinuate that the ambitious measures, in particular with regard to alternative aviation fuels, are only to serve as a pretext.
In fact international aviation is a key driver of growth and prosperity. A growing number of passengers is an indication of changing mobility needs in a free and more interconnected world. For distances of more than 1500 kilometers, flying is the most efficient and usually the only possible means of transport. aireg therefore aims not to prevent growth, but rather to reduce ist emissions through the use of alternative fuels.
Market-ready technologies for synthetic fuels with significant emission reductions are available today. The unsatisfactory pace of development is primarily a sign of insufficient funding. Due to significant market distortions, such as the German air passenger duty, airlines lack the resources for an even greater commitment.
It is therefore necessary that industry, government and research jointly create the conditions to bring alternative aviation fuels to market shortly and at the same time to accelerate the development of medium to long-term options. The mobility and fuels strategy of the federal government lays out a sensible path that must be taken now.
The Verkehrsclub Deutschland had been quoted by the Council for Sustainable Development (Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung) putting into question the seriousness of aviation’s climate and efficiency measures. The air transport industry is explicitly supporting the UN agency for civil aviation ICAO in its efforts to regulate carbon-neutral growth from 2020. aireg has made proposals which provide for a combination of climate compensation and bioenergy projects.