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Qatar Airways Joins Forces With Industry Body To Create Global Policy In Tackling Aviation Emissions

Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways has become the first and only Middle East carrier to join the Aviation Global Deal (AGD) Group, an industry-wide body aimed at helping develop a global policy for tackling aviation emissions.



The Doha-based airline will sit alongside a select-few international carriers, together with UK-based airports operator BAA and international non-government organisation The Climate Group, to build the policy and create more awarness of the issue.



The airline industry currently accounts for only two per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. But the industry is taking a positive stance towards reducing emission levels as part of its commitment to safeguarding the environment and driving its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.



The move follows a recent Qatar Airways initiative, in conjunction with aviation industry body IATA, to develop a global carbon offset trading scheme in which passengers opt to pay extra for tickets to help fund various global environmental projects.



Qatar Airways’ decision to join forces with the AGD Group demonstrates the momentum that is now building to develop an industry position on how emissions from the sector could be tackled under a global deal on climate change.



“We are delighted to have joined the Aviation Global Deal Group working with our peers across the industry to tackle what is a serious environmental issue,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.



“Society worldwide is becoming ever more conscious on the impact of climate change on our daily lives. It has affected, is affecting and will continue to affect the world – and the onus is very much on the corporate world to ensure we strive towards zero carbon emissions to make the world a safer and cleaner place.    



“Much has been documented by environmental groups and industry bodies over the years about the impact the aviation industry is having on society, and we must collectively address these as practically as possible.



“Qatar Airways is committed to engaging, creating and developing CSR programmes in the interests of the environment and the people who fly with us.”



Qatar Airways Senior Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Environment & Fuel Optimisation Chris Schroeder, added: “As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world we have a responsibility to ensure that our carbon footprint remains as low as possible, hence as part of our CSR programme "The Oryx Flies Green" we strive for carbon neutral growth.



“The aviation industry has to do its part to reduce the overall carbon footprint but we do not see how this can be achieved by unilateral enforced emission trading schemes, hence we fully support a global solution for the aviation industry.



“We are fully committed to the work and the goal of the Aviation Global Deal Group, which shows how serious the industry is about this matter that affects all of us globally.”



The AGD Group recently hosted an event alongside the UN negotiating session in the German city of Bonn to present their ideas on including international aviation emissions in a post-Kyoto deal to be negotiated in Copenhagen in December. 



The AGD Group’s proposal was intended to support the work of a number of international bodies tasked by the United Nations to find an appropriate solution to tackling aviation emissions. These include the International Air Transport Association’s Joint Task Force (IATA); International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); and Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC).



The basic mechanism proposed by the AGD Group is a global sectoral agreement covering carbon dioxide emissions from all international air transport providers. Net emissions reductions will be achieved by setting a global emissions reduction target for the sector and allocating allowances to airlines, which they can top up, if necessary, through the purchase of carbon credits.  An international body will administer the system.



Qatar Airways is already working with IATA to design a programme, in which passengers book their tickets and can choose to pay a little extra to offset the carbon footprint for the particular flight being taken, with proceeds going towards international programmes recognised by non-government organisations.



Al Baker added that Qatar Airways was investing heavily in new, modern and cleaner aircraft which, he stressed, was a concerted effort to keep the carbon emission count at its minimum and, in doing so, reduce the impact on the environment.



The airline’s website features a dedicated section to Qatar Airways’ CSR initiatives, accessible through the following link www.qatarairways.com/csr



Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 84 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.



During 2009, Qatar Airways will expand its global operations with the launch of 6 new routes – Sydney and Melbourne in Australia; Goa and Amritsar in India; and two further cities in Europe



 


Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travellers were polled. Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com


Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com


 


 



Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

Lauren Bird, The Climate Group
Tel: +44 (0)207 960 2982, +44 (0)7792 656 093
E-Mail: lbird@theclimategroup.org

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