International Air Transport Association (IATA)

InfluenceMap Score
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Airlines and Logistics
Montreal, Canada

Climate Lobbying Overview: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is actively lobbying against ambitious climate policy for aviation at global, regional, and national levels in 2019-21. IATA has used its support for the global CORSIA offsetting scheme, which in 2020 it led lobbying efforts to weaken during the Covid-19 crisis, to actively oppose all strands of ambitious climate regulation at regional and national levels, including ticket taxes, a tax on jet fuel, and aviation’s inclusion in the EU ETS.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The International Air Transport Association has consistently used their support for CORSIA at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to oppose all regional and national climate legislation for aviation in 2019-21. Particularly, IATA appears to have actively opposed climate measures for aviation in the EU and its member states, arguing that more ambitious national and regional regulations could “jeopardize CORSIA”. In a 2019 ICAO working paper, IATA argued CORSIA “avoids the need for duplicative or overlapping carbon pricing measures to be applied to international aviation emissions on a regional, national or subnational basis”.

IATA in 2020-21 also appears to have prioritized economic concerns over IPCC-demanded emissions reductions in their communications. In a 2020 response to an EU consultation, IATA emphasized the need to “preserve the competitiveness of airlines” and minimize market distortions when designing climate policy. A position paper from IATA in 2020 further argued that taxes on aviation “have negative impacts on the environment, passengers and the economy”. Furthermore, IATA’s former CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, in 2018-20 consistently stated opposition to green taxes on aviation and in October 2020 used Covid-19 to oppose the introduction of any new environmental taxes.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The International Air Transport Association has leveraged its support for the global CORSIA offsetting scheme to oppose nearly all strands of ambitious climate legislation for aviation at national and regional levels in 2019-21. IATA has consistently supported ICAO’s CORSIA emissions mitigation scheme under which airlines must buy offsets for emissions beyond the average baseline emissions of 2019, and/or use ‘CORSIA eligible’ fuels (a voluntary scheme until 2027), as the “only” market-based measure that should apply to international flights. However, IATA in 2020 led efforts at ICAO to weaken the CORSIA offsetting scheme by proposing a change to its baseline date to include only 2019 emissions compared to an average of 2019-20 emissions, which once agreed, substantially weakened the emissions reduction potential of CORSIA. IATA also lobbied the EU in a private meeting in April 2020 to support changing CORSIA’s baseline date.

IATA has consistently lobbied to oppose the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and its replacement with CORSIA in 2019-21. In a private meeting with EU DG Transport staff in February 2020, IATA urged the EU to repeal the EU ETS for aviation and replace it with CORSIA. Similarly, in its 2020 response to the EU ETS consultation, IATA opposed the application of the EU ETS to aviation, questioned its legality, rejected a reduction in free aviation emissions allowances, and supported its complete replacement with CORSIA. Additionally, in a private meeting with EU DG Clima officials in April 2020, IATA lobbied policymakers to provide flexibility with EU ETS compliance for the aviation industry due to Covid-19.

The International Air Transport Association in 2020 also appeared unsupportive of an EU blending mandate for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) in an EU consultation response, emphasizing the “risks” of a mandate, including high costs. Furthermore, in a February 2020 IATA meeting with EU DG Transport officials, IATA stressed that blending mandates may affect EU airline competitiveness. An IATA ‘Fact Sheet’ from 2020 also appears unsupportive of a carbon tax, arguing that “offsetting is more effective than a tax” and that carbon taxes cannot guarantee emissions reductions.

Positioning on Energy Transition: The International Air Transport Association in 2019-21 has actively lobbied against numerous measures to decarbonize aviation including by opposing all climate-related taxes. In 2019-20, IATA communications have stated vocal opposition to ticket taxes on aviation, including in Switzerland, France, and the 748422. Furthermore, in 2019, IATA’s former CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, stated opposition to a German ticket tax for aviation, arguing that “taxes are not the way to cover our environmental costs”. Similarly, in a 2019 ICAO working paper, IATA opposed the introduction of any ticket taxes in states covered by CORSIA. In a 2020 EU consultation, IATA further opposed the introduction of an EU jet fuel tax to help decarbonize aviation, questioning its legality. IATA in 2020 also actively opposed the introduction of green conditionality attachments to Covid-19 related bailouts to the aviation industry, with its CEO stating “it’s no time for requirements”. IATA has however stated general support for increasing the global uptake of sustainable aviation fuel without appearing to advocate for specific policy measures.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Communication of Climate Science
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 0 NA 0 0 -1 NA NA
Supporting the Need for Regulations
-1 -1 NA -1 -1 0 NA NA
Support of UN Climate Process
NS 1 NA NS 0 0 NA NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
-1 -1 NA -1 -1 0 NA NA
Emissions Trading
-2 -2 NA -1 -1 -1 NA NA
Energy and Resource Efficiency
Renewable Energy
0 NS NA -1 0 NS NA NA
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
-2 -2 NA 0 -1 -1 NA NA
GHG Emission Regulation
1 0 NA -2 -1 1 NA NA
Disclosure on Relationships