The first-ever Airbus Communications Symposium gathered representatives from leading airlines across Europe and Asia this week to address the environmental challenges facing air transport.
Senior communication and environmental executives from international carriers joined with representatives from industry bodies to highlight initiatives being undertaken by both airlines and manufacturers in tackling the two per cent that aviation currently contributes to the world's man-made emissions.
At the Toulouse, France meeting, delegates also rallied behind calls to support global efforts that address conservation, which can help reduce the impact of the other 98 per cent of man-made emissions.
This gathering comes eight weeks ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, which has the goal of establishing a new global climate agreement.
Speakers at the Airbus-organised event included representatives from the Air Transport Action Group - who discussed the industry's input to the Copenhagen conference - as well as from the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Biological Diversity. The conference also addressed the June 2009 Oxford Economics report that outlined the social and economic benefits of aviation.
Conservationist and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore highlighted the role of conservation in climate change at the conference, and urged support for the United Nations' Green Wave, which aims to raise awareness of biodiversity and its critical role in the world's future.
Airbus Senior Vice President Public Affairs and Communications Rainer Ohler told the conference: "Today, 80 per cent of our research goes into environmental improvements - we are trying to make aircraft more efficient every day, and that makes them automatically better for the environment. Together, we need to tell the world - because there is a different perception elsewhere and we want to support the airline community in enlarging the debate."
Ohler added that the airline industry must preserve its ability to grow - supporting social and economic development around the world, but doing so with less environmental impact.
In the photo above, Rainer Ohler, Airbus' Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, addresses delegates at the Communications Symposium in Toulouse.