Governments are being pressed to agree a global market-based measure to help the aviation industry manage its carbon footprint.

They are also being urged to invest in measures to keep aviation secure in light of evolving terrorist threats.

The calls came from Iata at the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal.

A proposal for the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is top of the agenda.

Iata director general and chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “The global aviation industry has turned out in force to encourage governments to make history by agreeing to implement CORSIA.

“This will be the first global agreement of its kind for an industrial sector.

“We are committed to carbon neutral growth from 2020. CORSIA, along with measures to improve technology, operations and infrastructure, will keep aviation at the forefront of industries responsibly managing their climate change impact.”

Iata member airlines passed resolutions at their annual meeting in 2013 and again this year, calling on governments to implement a global market-based measure to help manage aviation’s carbon footprint.

The measure must focus on actual emissions reductions – not revenue raising for governments – take into consideration differing circumstances of airlines based on maturity of markets, and not distort competition, according to Iata.

“We have a pragmatic compromise in the current CORSIA proposal,” said de Juniac. “And with some 60 states already committed for the voluntary period, momentum is building. We still need more states to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to sustainability by joining,”

A market-based scheme must be implemented as part of the package of measures in the industry’s four-part strategy on climate change.

The market-based option is seen as a “critical gap-filler” until improvements in technology, operations and infrastructure can fully realise the industry’s sustainability goals

These are:

• An average fuel efficiency improvement of 1.5% annually to 2020
• Carbon neutral growth from 2020
• Reducing net 2050 carbon emissions to half 2005 levels

Addressing the issue of airline security, de Juniac said: “The terrorist menace is hovering over our world, including the aviation industry. It is encouraging to see governments addressing the threats to aviation security at the highest international levels.

“We fully support ICAO’s leadership in helping states to meet their responsibilities on security. Keeping our passengers and crews safe from harm is a top priority for aviation. We look forward to contributing our operational expertise to help in any way that we can.”