Aviation industry backs UN-led campaign

Airbus President and CEO thanks airlines for being Friends of The Green Wave

21 May 2010 Press Release

Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, today thanked airlines around the world that have joined the aircraft manufacturer in backing a global United Nations campaign in this, the International Year of Biodiversity.

Airbus is supporting The Green Wave, an initiative of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  At 10:00am on 22 May – the International Day of Biodiversity – the campaign passes through the world’s time zones creating a wave of activity from east to west around the planet.  It is designed to engage and educate young people about the crucial role biodiversity – the rich variety of all life in earth – plays in our lives and our futures.  As the big day approached, 19 airlines had already signed up, with momentum growing daily.

Airbus has been using its global reach to back the campaign since 2008.  This year, as airlines around the world are already doing a tremendous amount to protect biodiversity, Airbus and the CBD are encouraging them to officially become Friends of The Green Wave.  The growing support reflects an increasing recognition that preserving biodiversity is also a means of preserving an invaluable source of future innovation, according to Tom Enders.

Tom Enders explained: “In addition to pioneering greener flight to help the aviation industry tackle the two percent it contributes to manmade CO2 emissions, Airbus is also committed to supporting those tackling the other 98 percent – such as the 17 percent from deforestation which accelerates biodiversity loss.  Our industry has a strong track record in working together to help shape the eco-efficient aviation industry of the future.  And I would like to thank those supporting The Green Wave as part of our collective efforts to enable both a more connected and sustainable world.”

  “Aeronautics engineers have always been inspired by nature and today, through biologically inspired engineering – biomimicry – nature itself may hold the key to even more eco-efficient solutions to balance the global demand for air travel with a better environment.”

Biomimicry is just one of the reasons Airbus is backing the campaign and asking others to help.  As head of a leading player in a global industry supporting $1.5 trillion in global GDP, 33 million jobs and 35 percent of world trade, Tom Enders says it is hard for anyone to ignore the economic impact of biodiversity loss.  In 2008 alone this was estimated to be between US$2 trillion and US$4.5 trillion, representing between 3.3 and 7.5 percent of global GDP*. 

Notes to Editors
* TTEB report 2009 (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) – UNEP; EU; German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety; DEFRA; Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rijksoverheld.