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Ethiopia determined to mitigate aviation’s impact on environment: State Minister

Addis Ababa, November 21, 2023 (FBC) – The Ethiopian government is committed to mitigate the impacts of the aviation industry on environment and climate, Mr. Denge Boru, Minister of State for Transport and Logistics of Ethiopia, said at the third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) in Dubai.

Mr. Denge Boru attended the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 3rd Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels.

In his speech at the international conference, Denge appreciated ICAO and the international aviation community for the joint effort of decarbonizing aviation while maintaining its growth trajectory to serve humanity in sustainable manner.

Reminding that Ethiopia is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, the State Minister disclosed that his country welcomes all efforts to build climate-resilient economy through adaptation and mitigation measures, in that regard.

“Ethiopia is committed to do its part by building net-zero economy. The government and people of Ethiopia are aggressively engaged in planting over 6 billion tree seedlings every year as part of the Green Legacy Initiative,” Mr Denge said.

According to him, the country’s efforts in producing clean energy from renewable resources such as hydropower, solar wind and geothermal are bearing fruits, signifying the nation’s immense potential for further exploitation in that regard.

The country’s commitment to decarbonize transportation also demonstrated in the railway and road sectors by introducing electricity and blending biofuel, the State Minister reckoned.

Likewise, Ethiopia has been controlling carbon emission and noise pollution in aviation by implementing certain measures to the best of the nation’s capacity and modernizing the country’s fleets, among others, he noted.

Denge recalled that Ethiopia is one of the founding member states of ICAO and one of the 52 signatories of the 1944 Chicago Convention. “Since then, the aviation sector has become an important enabler in socio-economic development of the country. Ethiopia is one of the historical, cultural and eco-tourism destinations in Africa where aviation plays a vital role.”

Landlocked developing countries like Ethiopia use air transport as one of the main means of connecting to the rest of the world, he elucidated, mentioning that his country is using its aviation sector to achieve the SDGs 2030 while struggling to cope up with the impacts associated with climate change.

According to Denge, international aviation market is rebounding from the pandemic aftermath, but the affordability and accessibility of air transport is still far-fetched for most citizens of Ethiopia and Africa. “It is acknowledged that alternative aviation fuel plays a significant role in aviation de-carbonization. However, unavailability of adequate quantity globally and lack of decentralization production which results in high travel cost that in turn affect the growth and competitiveness of international aviation, in developing countries, in particular,” the Ethiopian State Minister noted.

“Ethiopia presented itself to contribute for discussion that will not push any country to choose between poverty alleviation and environment protection,” he underscored. Denge stressed that Ethiopia strongly requests the global framework to be drafted in a way it realizes local production of clean energy where emphasizing local production, because it offers environmental, economic and social benefits.

State Minister Denge underlined that it also sustains energy security.

He also called on all to join hands to work together and extend utmost support in envisioning a just and equitable energy transition in aviation where no country is left behind.

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