"Climate change is a real concern for our customers and a political priority for many governments," Mr. Bisignani told 700 delegates, including chief executive officers from airlines around the world.
However, the good will was not without a caveat,
"We have been silent in our success and now we have a reputation crisis," IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani yesterday. He argued that the airline sector has been unfairly singled out by environmentalists and politicians jumping on the green bandwagon.
In this he is right. Global airline emissions account for a small (but significant) portion of the total worldwide pie - 2% according to most experts. Meanwhile, there is scarcely a week that goes by without new cries of outrage over these slim percentage points. A level of blame that is out of all proportion given that the airline industry chronically faces two of the most volatile and uncertain variables of the modern business world - rising fuel prices and ongoing security concerns.
In the face of these challenges, the IATA is deserving of any kudos it recieves for sucking it up and moving forward a new green vision. If our governments acted with the same forethought, we would be well on our way to solving the global warming problem.