Industry worries that a fragmented worldwide regulatory system would raise compliance costs for the sector and hurt the global industry.
The industry believes that ICAO, a specialised UN agency which codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation, is the right forum to draw up an appropriate global framework and implement it.
Just months before the UN climate conference opens in Cancún, "the ICAO Assembly must rise to the challenge and adopt a global plan for addressing aviation emissions," said François Gayet, secretary-general of European aerospace industry association ASD.
Message to Cancún
Last month, the global aviation industry gathered in Geneva for the fifth Aviation & Environment Summit, urging governments at the ICAO to "make decisive progress" and agree on a global framework to address aviation emissions.
The summit communiqué of 17 September urged the states involved in the UN climate negotiations "to summon the political will to endorse the industry targets for reducing emissions and establish the necessary global framework to deliver them".
The same message was sent to governments ahead of the December 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, after talks on a 'global sectoral approach for addressing aviation emissions' in October 2009.
While the industry is committed to improving its fuel efficiency, as well as stopping and then halving its net carbon emissions, it stresses that these goals are "subject to governments incentivising technological research and development for airframes and engines and the commercial development of alternative low-carbon fuels while also providing modern airport and airspace infrastructure".
The communiqué notes that the most effective current means of lowering CO2 emissions is to invest in new aircraft, but that the industry's ability to do so "is threatened by increasing and costly regulatory burdens, including taxes, charges and economic measures".
Therefore, the sector calls for policy responses that are "cost-effective, equitable and globally coordinated through ICAO, providing open access to carbon markets".