Nations commit to net zero for aviation by 2050 at COP26

NASA airliner

Photo: NASA

A declaration for aviation to have net zero global CO2 emissions by 2050 was put forward at the COP26 climate conference on Transport Day (Wednesday 10 November).

The occasion was the inaugural meeting of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition which recognised that a) international aviation is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years, and b) aviation has to make a ‘material contribution to climate change through its CO2 emissions’.

Key points of the declaration:

  • Achieving net zero global CO2 emissions by 2050 will maximize the possibility of keeping the global average temperature increase below 1.5°C
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the appropriate forum to address emissions from international aviation
  • Measures include the deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
  • Work with other ICAO member states to implement and strengthen CORSIA as an important measure to address aviation emissions, including to expand participation in CORSIA
  • Ensure double counting is avoided
  • Sustainable aviation fuels production should avoid competition with food production for land use and water supply
  • Promote the development and deployment of innovative new low- and zero-carbon aircraft technologies
  • Up-to-date state action plans detailing ambitious and concrete national action to reduce aviation emissions and submitting these plans to ICAO well in advance of the 41st ICAO Assembly
  • Convening periodically at both ministerial and official levels to review progress on the above commitments.

So far, 18 countries have signed the declaration and it’s hoped others will follow:

  1. Burkina Faso
  2. Canada
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Finland
  5. France
  6. Ireland
  7. Japan
  8. Kenya
  9. Maldives
  10. Morocco
  11. Netherlands
  12. New Zealand
  13. Norway
  14. Republic of Korea
  15. Spain
  16. Turkey
  17. United Kingdom
  18. United States of America


The full declaration is here