Civil aviation takes first step towards capping carbon emissions

duesseldorf, germany
A plane is approaching the illuminated landing runway at sunset at the airport of Duesseldorf, Germany, October 25, 2014. Marcel Kusch/EPA
The recommendation has been highly anticipated as aircraft carbon emissions are not part of a landmark pact on fighting climate change hammered out in Paris

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Feb. 10, 2016) — Experts have agreed on proposals for the first binding limits on carbon emissions for the aviation industry, a move welcomed Tuesday, February 9, by UN chief Ban Ki-moon as a boost to the battle against climate change.

Under negotiation for the past 6 years, the measures would apply to new aircraft models from 2020, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said in a statement.

Some 170 experts from the UN agency’s aviation environment protection committee on Monday, February 8, recommended the global standard, which is now expected to be approved by the 36-nation ICAO in September.

The recommendation foresees that “the new CO2 emissions standard would not only be applicable to new aircraft type designs as of 2020, but also to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from 2023.

“A cut-off date of 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with the standard was also recommended,” the statement said.

The new norm for carbon emissions will depend on the aircraft’s weight.

Ban said the proposals announced by the ICAO on Tuesday “build on the strong momentum” of the Paris climate change agreement agreed in December.

The recommendation had been highly anticipated as aircraft carbon emissions were not part of a landmark pact on fighting perilous climate change hammered out in Paris.

The agreed ICAO restrictions “represent the latest in a series of successful multilateral efforts to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change,” Ban said.

Carbon emissions from aviation are growing rapidly, with the number of flights worldwide expected to double in the next 15 years.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” ICAO governing council president, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, said.

EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc welcomed the agreement as “an important step to curb aviation emissions”.

“I hope this will create further momentum for the creation of a global market-based measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation, which we hope to achieve this autumn at the ICAO General Assembly,” Bulc said in a statement.

rappler_64  by Agence France-Presse |