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ICAO Holds Workshop on Aviation and Alternative Fuels

Workshop website11 February 2009: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is holding its first Workshop on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Montreal, Canada, from 10-12 February 2009. The workshop aims to provide a forum to explore potential options, challenges to development and deployment of alternative fuels, as well as initiatives to promote cooperation in this field. The event is designed as a preparatory event to a major conference in November 2009 that will showcase progress and establish a road map for the implementation of alternative fuels for aviation.

In an opening address to the workshop, ICAO Secretary General Taïeb Chérif stressed that, although aviation is a relatively small contributor to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the use of fossil fuels is a “pressing issue” given the anticipated growth of the industry in the near future. He recalled that at its 36th session in 2007, the ICAO Assembly recognized the urgent need for more concerted and effective action to reduce the carbon footprint of international aviation, the importance of research and development in fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, and the value of promoting understanding on the subject. He underscored that alternative fuels alone would not be the solution, but that they should be part of a comprehensive energy strategy. He added that their use should be informed, and take into account their full life-cycle and carbon footprint. He stressed the need for ensuring the consistent and standardized use of alternative fuels, and more global coordination. Chérif indicated ICAO's commitment to exercise leadership to achieve effective coordination among all aviation stakeholders. In conclusion, he highlighted the Organization's long relationship with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UNFCCC, and indicated that it aimed to form a partnership with the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Workshop website] [The statement]