The global airline industry is urging countries worldwide, including Canada, to adopt a mandatory carbon-emissions trading scheme for airlines starting in 2020 at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization this week in Montreal.
The International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 of the world’s largest airlines, including Air Canada and Air Transat, said Monday it would push for the global carbon scheme as an alternative to seeing a patchwork of regulations.
The potential alternative would be a trade war, which nearly happened earlier this year when the European Union threatened to unilaterally impose its own carbon tax on any airline flying into and out of the region.
“We need a mechanism for the industry to pay for its post-2020 growth,” Tony Tyler, IATA director general, said in a conference call Monday.
“We think that a global mandatory carbon offsetting scheme would the simplest (market-based mechanism) to implement,” he added. A global carbon-trading scheme, along with other measures, is part of IATA’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions in the industry. Those efforts include a 1.5-per-cent average annual improvement in fuel efficiency from 2009 to 2020; carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onward and a 50-per-cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
Transport Canada was unable to provide comment by press time over whether the federal government would support such an initiative.