Countries must be allowed to prepare own plans for Sustainable Aviation Fuel: India

India urges support for achieving sustainability in aviation alongside other challenges

May 31, 2023 08:59 pm | Updated June 01, 2023 05:27 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India sought U.N. Aviation watchdog ICAO’s support to achieve sustainability goals alongside other competing priorities. Image for representation purpose only. File

India sought U.N. Aviation watchdog ICAO’s support to achieve sustainability goals alongside other competing priorities. Image for representation purpose only. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

India on May 31 asserted that global mandates for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) with 2050 as the target year was “too early” and that each State must be allowed to develop its strategy as per its national plans. It also sought support from the U.N. Aviation watchdog ICAO to achieve carbon net zero goals alongside other priorities in the aviation sector such as growing aspirations of passengers.

The 41st International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly adopted a long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) for international aviation of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in support of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius and reach net-zero by 2050.

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This was preceded by a resolution at the 77th IATA Annual General Meeting in Boston, U.S., on October 4, 2021, where a resolution was passed by member airlines committing them to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050.

“Any global mandates for SAF with milestones to 2050 are too early as each State must be allowed time to develop its own strategy for reaching LTAG as per its national plans,” said Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal at ICAO Global Implementation Support Symposium 2023 at Seoul, South Korea.

He added till SAF production, certification and availability are ensured, any volumetric mandates will not be consistent with the ideology of long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG), which doesn’t impose specific obligations but recognises each State’s special circumstances and capabilities to contribute to the LTAG within its own national timeframe. India will start participating in the ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the LTAG from 2027.

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India also sought ICAO’s support to achieve sustainability goals alongside other competing priorities such as cyber security, growing aspirations of passengers and the industries, building resilience in the aviation system and developing harmonised standards for advanced air mobility.

India has pledged net zero by 2070 and reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45% by 2030 and urged developed countries to provide climate finance of $1 trillion at the earliest. Airlines such as the Lufthansa Group as well as Air France KLM have set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and the European Union in April agreed to a deal to set binding targets for airlines in Europe to increase their use of SAF with fuel supplies required to ensure 2% SAF at EU airports in 2025, 6% in 2030, 20% in 2035 and 70% in 2050. 

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