Since that first flight at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers, the aviation sector has grown exponentially and emerged as a global force for good, linking communities big and small, driving economic growth, and facilitating better cross-cultural understanding among peoples of the world.
Accompanying this growth has been an increase in the sector’s carbon footprint.
While remaining a relatively small percentage of global emissions, it is nevertheless a significant contributing factor to our planet’s changing climate with a potential for aviation emissions to keep rising sharply if we continue business as usual.
Nations are about to reach a new climate change agreement that puts the world on track to stay below a temperature rise of 2C degrees and allow all countries and industries to contribute to that success by building a clean, efficient and sustainable economic future.
The goal is essential but the benefits of taking part represent a transformational opportunity for all sides.
That’s why we need the aviation sector, which has always shown a remarkable ability to be one step ahead in the design and implementation of new technologies and ways of operating, literally to take flight and apply these formidable skills to the challenge.
The aspirational goal of carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020, as expressed by countries under the International Civil Aviation Organization, is a promising start and a contribution to climate science, which requires the world to reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible in the second half of this century.
To achieve this in aviation, every measure from operational improvements to technological developments to market-based measures and alternative fuels are needed.
Aviation technology innovations have transformed the way we live. They helped get us to the moon. Cutting emissions rapidly and making ourselves resilient to climate change is our generation’s moon landing. Help us get there and land safely.