UAE committed to development, sustainability of aviation industry, says Minister of Economy at IATA’s AGA

Photo: wam.ae

Photo: wam.ae

 

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, has underscored the UAE’s unwavering commitment to ensuring sustainable aviation growth while addressing climate challenge.

In his keynote address at the 80th IATA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, convening in Dubai from 2nd to 4th June 2024, Abdullah bin Touq said the air transport sector has a long history of fostering partnership that drives change, connects people and supports economies and communities around the world. “It’s also one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise. Aviation accounts for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, but has contributed around 4% of global warming to date.”

As climate concerns reach a boiling point, he continued, achieving sustainable air travel is no longer optional, it’s essential. “That’s why sustainability is at the forefront of our agenda today.”

To truly make a difference, the minister explained, the aviation industry urgently needs a collective effort. “We need increased support from both governments and the private sector, particularly in funding and infrastructure development. This will unlock the production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels and other promising alternatives.”

He stressed that the UAE is at the forefront of the shift forward to a low carbon economic model, with aviation as a key component, diversifying away from oil and tackling climate change is among top priorities of the UAE leadership, and “we are making tremendous efforts to accelerate transition to a low carbon economy.”

The non-oil sector represents more than 74% of our GDP in 2023. Moreover, he added, the UAE is one of the first countries to adopt sustainability agenda and consider the environmental impact of the aviation sector. “We actively participated in all negotiations launched by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and endorsed all international decisions supporting sustainability.

“Furthermore, we aim to decarbonise the aviation sector and position the UAE as a regional hub for low carbon aviation fuel. This is why we have launched the National Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roadmap, setting an ambitious goal to produce up to 700,000,000 litres annually by 2030. This initiative is expected to reduce up to 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.”

The minister explained that COP28 highlighted the need for technological advancements within the aviation sector. “This includes developing more fuel efficient aircraft and exploring alternative propulsion systems such as electric and hybrid electric engines and of course, the use of hydrogen.”

As one of the leading economies in travel and tourism in aviation, the UAE, he added, is committed to being a part of the solution to climate crisis and to decarbonise the industry. “We believe that partnership and collaboration with the private sector are crucial to achieving our economic sustainability goals. And the UAE views the private sector as a key driver of growth.”