Wed 4 Nov 2009 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has agreed to supply global travel technology and distribution solutions provider Amadeus with data from its Carbon Emissions Calculator. The data will allow Amadeus customers to estimate the carbon emissions of their travel. The Calculator’s methodology, which was developed through ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), takes into account a range of variables such as aircraft type, route specific data, passenger load factors and cargo carried. Meanwhile, ICAO has recently added a slogan on its website home page, ‘Act Global: Uniting Aviation on Climate Change’, which links to a page addressing the challenges of reducing aviation emissions.
David Jones, President and CEO of Amadeus said he believed ICAO was the right partner to bring a unified and common approach to deal with the complex issue of calculating individual carbon footprints from air travel. “Through our technology, data management capabilities and the results from the Calculator, we aim to help our customers meet their environmental objectives,” he said.
“Every day, more than one million passengers fly with bookings processed by Amadeus reservation platforms,” added the company’s Group Environmental Officer, Lucas Bobes. “For this reason, Amadeus has a responsibility to provide neutral, objective information, and shares a common interest with ICAO in making sure the calculation of emissions is done in a rigorous and consistent manner.”
Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO, said: “Air travel is essential to our global society. Reducing its carbon footprint is key to ensuring the sustainable growth of air transport. This agreement between ICAO and Amadeus will make more individuals and organizations aware of their carbon footprint, ensuring that those wishing to offset will be doing so based on an official, globally accepted tool.”
Amadeus will integrate the data into its travel reservation platforms by mid-2010.
The Calculator has been adopted by the United Nations as the official tool for all UN bodies to quantify their air travel footprint in support of the UN Climate Neutral Initiative.
ICAO leads its Act Global web page by saying climate change is one of the greatest challenges of this century and that it is “fully engaged to achieve a global solution to address emissions from international civil aviation”.
ICAO says scheduled aviation traffic grew at an average rate of 4% between 2001 and 2008. Although it will decline in 2009, a moderate recovery is forecast for the year 2010 with a positive growth rate of about 3.3% and continued growth of 5.5% in 2011. Scheduled traffic is anticipated to grow at an average rate of 4.6% per year through 2025, with demand for air travel expected to continue to grow through to at least 2036.
Although efficiency is likely to continue to improve throughout that period, says ICAO, the anticipated gain in technological and operational measures is not expected to completely offset the predicted growth in demand driven emissions. Although the contribution of aviation emissions to total global CO2 emissions is relatively small, it continues, “this growth raises questions on the future contributions of aviation activity to climate change and on the most effective way of addressing those emissions in a future climate agreement.”
In a link to a document headed ‘Putting Aviation’s Emissions in Context”, not accounting for the impact of alternative fuels, ICAO predicts aviation CO2 will grow from 632 Mt in 2006 to the range of 1,422 to 1,738 Mt in 2036, reaching 890 to 2,800 Mt in 2050, with the mid to higher range more plausible. Therefore, a ‘mitigation gap’ relative to the 2006 (or earlier) level will exist in the future that will require some form of intervention in order to achieve sustainability, concludes the document.
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