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Aviation has taken another vital step forward towards achieving its goal of reaching net zero CO₂ emissions by 2050 with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreeing to work collectively toward this goal. The ICAO is a United Nations body made up of nearly 200 countries and formally adopted the long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) for the global aviation industry to reach net zero by 2050 at its meeting in Montreal last week. 

The move brings countries into line with the goals of the aviation industry in making air travel more sustainable and reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

Salvatore Sciacchitano, president of the ICAO Council, said: “States’ adoption of this new long-term goal for decarbonised air transport, following the similar commitments from industry groups, will contribute importantly to the green innovation and implementation momentum, which must be accelerated over the coming decades to ultimately achieve emissions free powered flight.”

The agreement will “rely on the combined effect” of multiple CO₂ reduction measures, including the development of new types of aircraft technology, streamlined flight operations and the increased production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

“Countries have achieved some tremendous and very important diplomatic progress at this event, and on topics of crucial importance to the future sustainability of our planet and the air transport system which serves and connects its populations,” added ICAO secretary general Juan Carlos Salazar.

States also agreed to back ICAO’s work to help accelerate the availability and use of SAF, with a conference on aviation and alternative fuels set to be held next year.

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