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  • The International Civil Aviation Organization

ICAO conference delivers global framework to implement clean-energy transition for aviation

Photo: International Civil Aviation Organization

During the International Civil Aviation Organization’s third Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3), held Nov. 20-24 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the international aviation sector has taken a giant leap to accelerate its decarbonization.

By the adoption of a new ICAO global framework for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), lower-carbon aviation fuels (LCAF) and other cleaner aviation energies, ICAO and its member states have agreed to strive to achieve a collective global aspirational vision to reduce CO2 emissions in international aviation by 5 percent by 2030, compared to zero cleaner-energy use.

Key elements of the framework include a collective vision for the clean-energy transition, harmonized regulatory foundations, supporting implementation initiatives, and improved access to financing for related initiatives so that no country is left behind.

In pursuing the vision, each state’s special circumstances and respective capabilities will inform their ability to contribute to the vision within their own national time frames, without attributing specific obligations or commitments in the form of emissions-reduction goals.

“The role of the framework is to facilitate the scale up of the development and deployment of SAF, LCAF and other [cleaner-aviation energies] on a global basis, and mainly by providing greater clarity, consistency and predictability to all stakeholders, including those beyond the aviation sector,” emphasized ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

“Investors, governments and others all need greater certainty regarding the policies, regulations, implementation support and investments required so that all countries will have an equal opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, the expansion in the production and use of these fuels and the expected emissions reductions they will lead to,” Sciacchitano added.

ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar further noted that “achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require substantial and sustained investment and financing over the coming decades. We must furthermore assure reliable and affordable support and capacity-building for those states with particular needs, as they will be depending on it to help play their part.”

ICAO’s framework will support the clean-energy transition of the aviation sector needed to achieve the current goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as adopted by the ICAO Assembly in 2022.

It has been designed to send a steady signal to public and private investors, as well as fuel producers, on the opportunities to fully support and unlock the potential of the aviation sector’s energy transition.



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