ICAO adopts net zero plan for 2050


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has followed other groups in pledging its support for the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The goal, announced at the 41st ICAO Assembly in Montreal, Canada on Friday (October 7th), will rely on the accelerated adoption of new technologies, streamlined flight operations and increased production and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). It marks the first time the ICAO has committed to being net-zero by 2050.

During the Assembly the ICAO also gained support for the new ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme, which aims to increase the availability of SAF.

There was also demand from the attendees for a third conference on aviation and alternative fuels to be held in 2023, while the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was reviewed for the first time. Countries agrees on a new CORSIA baseline from 2024 onwards, defined as 85% of CO2 emissions in 2019.

Salvatore Sciacchitano, president, ICAO Council said momentum for green innovation must be accelerated. 

Juan Carlos Salazar, secretary general, ICAO said: “Countries have achieved some tremendous and very important diplomatic progress at this event, and on topics of crucial importance to the future sustainability of our planet and the air transport system which serves and connects its populations.”

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has welcomed the plans and said it will “continue to work with industry partners toward achieving this ambitious goal”.

Last month, business aviation groups agreed a set of policy principles to guide long-term carbon emissions reductions. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the NBAA among others set principles including promoting SAF and encouraging cooperative programmes between member states.