Countries agree to curb aviation emissions

Member states of the United Nations Civil Aviation Organisation have agreed on a new emissions standard to control global greenhouse gas emissions from international airline flights.

The so-called Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) aims to curb global greenhouse gas emissions from plane travel.

It calls for international aviation to address and offset its emissions through the reduction of emissions outside the international aviation sector.

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

“We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of states who will voluntarily participate in the global market-based measure – and from its outset,” commented Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the Council President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The new standard is designed to complement the mitigation measures the air transport community is already pursuing to reduce CO2 emissions. These measures include technical and operational improvements and advances in sustainable alternative fuels.

According to ICAO, implementation of the aviation carbon dioxide standard will begin with a pilot phase from 2021 to 2023, followed by a first phase, from 2024 to 2026.

While participation in the early stages will be voluntary, all members – with some exemptions – should implement the standard in the subsequent phases from 2027 to 2035.

The decision by ICAO member States comes as the landmark agreement on climate change has crossed the line that will trigger its implementation within 30 days.

The Montreal-based ICAO works with 191 member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international standards, practices and policies for the civil aviation sector.

Photo credit: Bernd Thaller/ CC BY-NC 2.0

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