European countries sign ‘Toulouse Declaration’ to drive aviation sector’s decarbonization plans forward

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The Destination 2050 associations and their members have endorsed the Toulouse Declaration, the first-ever public-private initiative setting a joint vision and supporting European aviation’s goal to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The declaration was signed in Toulouse, France, on Friday, February 4, 2022, by 35 European countries and 146 industry stakeholder groups, including the five leading European aviation associations represented through Destination 2050 – Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).

The Destination 2050 decarbonization roadmap was launched in 2021 and lays out a joint industry long-term vision with the same net zero CO2 emissions objective, consistent with the EU’s long-term climate goals and the Paris Agreement.

The Destination 2050 partners now expect the Toulouse Declaration to be translated into a structured dialogue and concrete policy action. The industry is already transitioning to a decarbonized future through improvements in aircraft and engine technologies, the development of sustainable aviation fuels, improvements in air traffic management and aircraft operations, and efficient economic measures. An effective policy, regulatory and financial framework is needed at the European and national levels to support and accelerate this transformation.

The Destination 2050 partners are therefore calling on the European Commission and EU member states who have signed the declaration to develop and support an EU Pact for Aviation Decarbonization. In this pact, member states and the Commission should commit to a structured dialogue with industry to review and complement the Fit for 55 legislative package with concrete and timely supportive measures, including:

  • Public and private funding to channel investments, R&D and innovation into decarbonization and a more sustainable aviation ecosystem, including through European partnerships such as the Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation, Alliance for Renewable and Low Carbon Fuels Value Chain, Clean Aviation, Clean Hydrogen and SESAR Joint Undertaking and by including relevant aviation activities in the EU taxonomy for sustainable finance.
  • Initiatives and incentives for:
    • Earmarking of revenues from the Emissions Trading System to support concrete decarbonization activities within the civil aviation sector
    • More sustainable airport infrastructure, operations and related services including through airport carbon accreditation
    • Public incentives for the deployment of sustainable aviation fuels
    • Fleet renewal coupled with aircraft retirement, and for bringing zero-emission aircraft to the market by 2035 – including through the supply of green hydrogen and electricity (and its deployment via related airport infrastructure)
    • A more sustainable, network-centric, modern and digital air traffic management system through the Single European Sky and SESAR

The declaration’s supporters have also committed to working with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) toward the adoption of an ambitious ‘long-term aspirational goal’ (LTAG) for aviation, which is consistent with efforts to reach net zero CO2 emissions in 2050. The adoption of such a goal would take place during ICAO’s 41st Assembly in September 2022.

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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