Taxation is a straightforward instrument, says IATA chief Willie Walsh

According to the secretary general of the International Air Transport Association, more carrots and less sticks are needed for the airline industry to become more sustainable.

Willie Walsh, speaking at CNBC’s Sustainable Future Forum on Friday, said subsidies and tax cuts to encourage investment in clean energy would help businesses and consumers to tax higher levels of carbon emissions. I was asked if it was more effective than

“Honestly, all the evidence we have shows that carrots are far more effective than sticks.

Walsh expands on his argument by stating that taxation is “a very blunt instrument that, in fact, often makes the industry less efficient.”

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“I don’t think the number of planes flying will stop. The number of people flying will definitely decrease,” he added. “And that’s ridiculous.”

“What we need to do is keep planes full, not full, and provide incentives to produce sustainable aviation fuel that has a real impact on the environmental footprint of aviation. is.”

The European Union is now considering revising the Energy Tax DirectiveAmong other things, this would tax both marine and aviation fuel.

net zero goal

October 2021 IATA member airlines passed a resolution “We are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from our operations by 2050.”

Given the fact that it is an important cog in the global economy, there will no doubt be a discussion of aviation and its environmental impact at the COP27 climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. .

This is because, despite its importance, aviation Explanation by World Wide Fund for Nature as “one of the fastest increasing sources of greenhouse gas emissions causing global climate change”.

WWF also says air travel is “the most carbon-intensive activity an individual can do today.”

While attending the Sustainable Future Forum, IATA’s Walsh was asked how difficult it would be for the aviation industry to decarbonize compared to other industries.

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“It’s very difficult … today we make up about 2.4% of man-made CO2,” he said.

“However, we recognize that other industries are decarbonizing, and many of them have a relatively easy path to decarbonisation. ‘s contribution will increase,” he added.

“Currently, technology offers some solutions … but we are not ready to rely on what will be developed in the future. We recognize that something must be done now.”

“So for us, the key to our goal is the sustainable use of aviation fuel. The science is proven.”

“What we have to do is make the very low levels of sustainable fuel production available to the wider public.”

Walsh argued that this represented a real opportunity not just for the industry, but for “countries around the world to start producing sustainable jet fuel.”

Such a move would “not only address environmental problems, but also create jobs.”

Meetings like COP27 are 'very important', says aviation CEO

The overarching idea behind sustainable aviation fuel is that it can be used to reduce aircraft emissions.

Specifically, aircraft manufacturers airbus describes SAF as ‘made from renewable raw materials’. The most common sources are said to be “crop-based or used edible oils and animal fats.”

In some regions, there is great concern that increased uptake of SAF, among other things, could lead to significant deforestation and overwhelm crops essential for food production. An issue Walsh touched on earlier this year.

Back at the Sustainable Futures Forum, Walsh spoke optimistically about the future prospects of his sector, acknowledging that work is ahead.

“I think the fact that we are committed to net zero by 2050 is important, but it is equally important to show that we have a credible path to net zero,” he said. .

“People are beginning to realize that through sustainable aviation fuels and other initiatives, we can achieve that explicit goal.” Taxation is a straightforward instrument, says IATA chief Willie Walsh

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