Worldwide airways may in the reduction of flights to Australia in coming years as a result of the high-polluting lengthy haul routes stand out as low-hanging fruit to satisfy future environmental commitments, the nation’s parliament has been warned.
Necessary emissions reductions schemes for international aviation are nonetheless being negotiated. Nevertheless, Australia dangers being “priced out” of the worldwide aviation community when carbon pricing and different binding targets start taking impact over the following decade, the Australian Airports Affiliation (AAA) stated in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry.
“As Australia is on the edges of the worldwide air community with lengthy distances from Australian airports to main regional and international hubs in Asia, North America and the Center East, it’s important to make sure Australia stays a viable vacation spot for worldwide migration, tourism and enterprise journey,” the AAA’s submission stated.
Operators disproportionately decreasing frequencies of flights to the southern hemisphere as a straightforward path to satisfy their obligations in a carbon-constrained future may go away Australians with significantly fewer – and considerably dearer choices – to attach with different continents.
Making certain the native sustainable aviation gasoline (SAF) business and shops are able to refuelling plane on SAF for his or her return leg can be important to forestall formidable environmental commitments from isolating Australia, the AAA warned, because it referred to as for the federal government to be an lively voice at dialogue tables as international agreements are fleshed out.
Whereas home aviation targets fall underneath Australia’s personal emissions reductions scheme, emissions associated to worldwide flights are thought of underneath the Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation’s carbon offsetting and discount scheme for worldwide aviation (Corsia).
“Failure to barter an efficient and equitable deal for Australia might imply a contraction in Australia’s connectivity to the world,” the AAA stated.
James Goodwin, the chief government of the AAA, stated the Australian authorities have to be “a robust voice on the worldwide tables the place these emissions reductions are being mentioned and calculated”.
He stated the federal government must clarify that aviation is crucial for Australia’s connectivity, and there must be an equal deal with decreasing pointless short-haul flying elsewhere. For instance, an airline decreasing flights from Europe to Australia may as an alternative use its plane and carbon capability to fly a number of quick haul flights in Europe – together with routes between locations that might be serviced by rail.
The AAA believes Australia ought to advocate for these ramifications to be thought of by any future emissions reductions schemes.
Moreover, sustainable aviation gasoline functionality can be a key solution to make long-haul flights to Australia sustainable. Airways have slowly begun mixing modest quantities of SAFs into their gasoline mixes, and whereas many have introduced plans to considerably ramp up these blends – Qantas has dedicated to 10% SAF by 2030 – manufacturing just isn’t anticipated to succeed in portions to permit airways to attain internet zero commitments by 2050 with out counting on offsets.
Australian governments and companies have not too long ago introduced plans to discover changing byproducts from sugarcane and wheat starch into SAF, whereas different international locations depend on cooking oils, palm oil and animal fat.
Nevertheless Goodwin stated different nations’ SAF capabilities have been extra superior, and that “Australia must play catch-up”.
“The science is proven, we need to have an industry and get it going,” he said. “It’s no silver bullet, but SAF will be one of those measures that will take us a good distance to reduce emissions.”
Goodwin acknowledged there are currently no binding agreements affecting international airlines, but said the aviation industry expects these to be formalised and mandatory “very soon”.
“As we approach 2030 this is going to become a much higher-profile issue. International emissions are in a policy no-man’s land at the moment, but what concerns us is if we suddenly have new regulations, if voluntary schemes become mandatory, we can’t risk losing connectivity because we haven’t spoken up enough at the table when these rules were being discussed.
“For an international carrier trying to reduce its emissions – and it may have its own targets and obligations in its own country outside of global agreements – we know one way of reducing emissions is to simply not fly as much, and with Australia at the end of the world it would be very easy to just no longer fly to Australia,” Goodwin said.
Australia’s transport minister, Catherine King, during a visit the UK this week spoke of the two countries’ “shared ambitions for decarbonising aviation … while still facilitating growth in the industry”.
King said the Australian government supported the ICAO’s initiatives, noting these included a long-term aspirational goal for international aviation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as the Corsia program.
King did not respond to questions about the state of Australia’s SAF capability and concerns that connectivity to Australia could be reduced.