Winning global agreement on how the airline industry is charged for carbon emissions blamed for climate change will be the top item on Alexandre de Juniac’s agenda when he becomes director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) this summer.

“If we have a system of taxing carbon emissions, it’s got to be global — it’s got to be applied across the board, not so that some zones pay and others don’t,” de Juniac, the outgoing chief executive officer of Air France-KLM Group, said in an interview. “You can’t have a system that penalizes some airlines and not others.”

An assembly of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Authority is scheduled for September, with the aim of delivering a goal to cap the industry’s emissions at 2020 levels. Aviation wasn’t included in last year’s Paris climate deal. ICAO has committed to get all of its 191 members to agree to a market-based mechanism to cope with emissions at the assembly, its first in three years.

“This is a heavy subject on which IATA has a key role to play in working in collaboration with ICAO,” de Juniac said.

De Juniac announced earlier this week that he’s leaving the airline to take the top post at industry lobby group IATA, after the mandate of Tony Tyler expires in June. De Juniac will move into the position some time around July, he said, subject to discussions with the outgoing director.

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Photo Credit: Air France-KLM outgoing CEO Alexandre de Juniac speaking at a conference last May. Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay / Flickr