Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Aviation Industry

Photo of Duncan SmithDuncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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42. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the discussions as of January 2023 that he and his Department have had with officials in Irish aviation in relation to lower-emissions aircraft and overall emission reduction in the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2363/23]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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Ireland strongly supports the policy objective of reducing aviation related emissions and is aligned with the strategies being progressed at EU level and internationally via the UN’s specialised agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The global approach to decarbonisation of the industry is based on ICAO’s ‘basket of measures’ which identifies four pillars from which reductions are to be realised. These are aircraft technology improvements, operational improvements, increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and a global market-based measure known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

At European level Ireland continues to be ambitious in its support for the EU’s “Fit for 55 Package” which aims to facilitate a minimum net 55% EU greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030. This package includes several proposals which will impact on aviation including the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal and revisions of both the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Energy Taxation Directive (ETD).

These proposals aim to encourage greater supply and use of SAFs, and to phase out the free ETS allowances afforded to airlines while also reducing the overall number of aviation allowances available within the system, thus incentivising airlines to further reduce their emissions. The cumulate end effect will be to incentivise a shift towards more environmentally friendly SAF alternatives with resulting emissions reductions.

My Department and I regularly engage with the Irish aviation industry and with representative bodies in relation to efforts to reduce emissions and decarbonise the aviation industry.

My officials maintain regular engagement with stakeholders in the Irish aviation industry, primarily through the Regulatory Working Group, which is a subgroup of the National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF) which was established in 2016. This subgroup has provided a vehicle for discussion on emissions reductions and specifically the Fit for 55 proposals.

Both of our two largest airlines have invested heavily in next generation aircraft and engine technologies and operate efficient fleets. Both airlines are making significant efforts and investment in research towards increasing their uptake of SAFs.

My department remains committed to continued engagement with the industry in relation to the development of policy in this area both at EU and international level.


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