Willie Walsh is the CEO of International Airlines Group, parent company of British Airways and Iberia. Ahead of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit, he spoke about support for carbon pricing, innovation in efficiency and alternative fuels, and the airline industry's efforts to reduce emissions.
"I support carbon pricing through the development of carbon markets because it is the most effective way for businesses to address climate change. Our industry has committed to ambitious and challenging targets to improve our environmental performance, including a 50 percent reduction in net aviation carbon emissions by 2050. We’ll do this through the investment of trillions of dollars in new aircraft, and engine technology with vastly improved fuel and carbon efficiency, through sustainable alternative fuels, and importantly, through carbon trading.
We support international efforts to develop a global system for airlines that will use carbon markets to put a price on carbon emissions by 2020. An effective system will increase incentives for the aviation industry to accelerate the introduction of low-carbon technology and lock in the great potential to decarbonize air transport.
For over a decade, carbon costs have been reflected in our key business decisions, especially the aircraft and engines we buy, along with energy we use in our ground support activities. Carbon pricing, along with a focus on sustainability, provides positive pressure to ensure our operations are as fuel-efficient as possible and that we continue to invest in the development of low-carbon alternative fuels."