The Climate Aviation Coalition presses ICAO to respond to climate emergency: Radically Cut Air Traffic!
MONTREAL – 24 September, 2019 – A large coalition has formed in response to the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly, beginning today in Montreal. The Climate Aviation Coalition is demanding that Member States of this United Nations agency reduce the severe impact of aviation on the climate. As host country, Canada has an obligation to take the opportunity of the 40th triennial assembly to propose a plan for a major and immediate reduction in the number of flights. This is the only real way to cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and bring them in line with what is needed to avoid climate catastrophe.
Aviation is a significant driver of climate change. International flights emit as many greenhouse gases as all the 129 lowest-emitting countries combined, according to a paper presented at the last ICAO Assembly. Aviation is responsible for 4.9% of global warming. A recent report states that total emissions from international aviation are projected to triple by 2050 if current trends hold. Boeing also predicts that the number of jet aircraft in service will increase from 25,830 to 50,660 in the next 20 years. Meanwhile, thanks to its lobby, the industry is under no obligation to conform with Paris Accord targets. So while the world as a whole strives to reduce emissions, air transport will increase them. 
The industry claims it can offset emissions by purchasing carbon credits, using a compensation programme developed by the ICAO called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). Under the CORSIA programme, aviation emissions will continue to increase and jeopardize the stability of the climate. It is misleading to think that new emissions can be offset by planting trees or by other similar activities. It is imperative that CO2 emissions are reduced AND trees are planted. Planting of trees should not be done in order to allow the aviation industry to emit even more CO2. It is useless to plant trees if emissions keep on growing.