Aviation Industry Must Transition from Fossil Fuels, Embrace Clean Energy Future, Says Secretary-General in Message for Portugal Forum

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Sustainable Regional Aviation Forum, in Ponte Delgada, Portugal today:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Agradeço a todos por se terem reunido nesta bela ilha de São Miguel para discutir um assunto da maior importância como a aviação regional sustentável.

Dear friends,

This Forum arrives on the heels of the hottest year on record. A carbon-free future is the only way forward.  And the aviation sector can help deliver this future.

Aviation is foundational to our world — connecting people, creating jobs, and sustaining economies.  But it’s also one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize.  It accounts for 2 per cent of global emissions.

The message is clear.  The aviation industry must transition from fossil fuels and embrace a clean energy future.

This Forum is an opportunity to showcase how this sector can step up and lead our world towards a carbon-neutral future.

The ideas and solutions being discussed here help point the way.

Developing and applying clean fuel sources on a global scale.

Enacting smart economic policies and regulations that can support a just and equitable transition — including carbon pricing, low-carbon fuel standards and subsidies for sustainable aviation fuels.

And universally aligning with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Assembly’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 — not through offsets, but by actually reducing emissions.

The scale of the climate crisis demands that all countries, sectors and companies find real solutions that address the problem.

Let’s speed up the clean energy revolution our world needs — with aviation at the forefront.

For information media. Not an official record.