Montreal (Canada) – December 9, 2019 (travelindex.com) – In giving the 16th Annual Assad Kotaite memorial address in the ICAO headquarters last night, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, co-creator of SUNx said that air transport was too important for human development for it to become demonized in the fight against existential climate change.
Linking the vision and spirit of Dr Kotaite, long-time ICAO President and Maurice Strong, architect of global sustainable development, with whom he worked closely. He said that both saw Aviation and the Travel & Tourism ecosystem that it powers, as positive change agents in the global transformation to the New Climate Economy. But two interlinked shifts were needed to make the sector “fit for purpose.”
First, there has to be a migration of all tourism to Climate Friendly Travel ~ measured to balance the positive socio-economic aspects and the adverse environmental impacts; green to ensure growth:2050 proof to fit the Paris 1.5o Climate Neutral trajectory.
Second, we need a “Moon-shot” Approach to bring Aviation fully on board. Lipman said that “Air transport is too important to be ultra-conservative in its ambitions, A 2050 game-plan that still leaves the highest emission percentage of any industry on the planet is not a serious option at a time when the UNFCCC is calling for net zero greenhouse gas to meet the hardening Paris Climate targets.” He proposed a virtual moon-shot of the kind President Kennedy established to put Neil Armstrong on the moon, marshalling all the forces needed to achieve the goal.
He said “the Secretary General of the UN should appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission, chaired by a respected World Leader, like Helen Clarke former Prime Minister of New Zealand and ex UNDP Head with top ranking Members from inside and outside the sector to come up with ambitious solutions to aviation’s long term reliance on fossil fuel propulsion.”
Lipman added “ The Secretary General should make the call at The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Davos session and ask the Forum to manage the program – with a two year delivery mandate, It should engage leaders from Aviation, Tourism, Airframe and Engine Manufacturers and Fossil Fuel companies, the as well as civil society – including the Elon Musk minds, the Richard Branson financing and the Greta Thunberg generation’s enthusiasm”
He concluded that “We need to be imaginative and bold, with the spirit of Assad Kotaite and Maurice Strong, to build a Climate Neutral 2050 for our kids and grandkids”