Airline industry commits to cut carbon emissions

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced on Thursday that its member states had agreed to cut global aviation carbon emissions by 2035 to 2020 levels in support of efforts to shrink aviation’s carbon footprint.

Following six years of negotiations, the deal features a voluntary period from 2021 to 2026 and becomes mandatory in 2027 for states with significant aviation industries. The deal represents a broad consensus and will prevent  a costly patchwork of national and regional legislation.

Sixty-four countries covering about 85 per cent of international aviation activity will participate in what represents the world’s first aviation pollution agreement which includes North America and Europe. The poorest nations, small island states and countries with global passenger travel of less than 0.5 per cent will be exempt.

The framework agreement is a compromise between developed nations, responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions, and emerging and developing countries such as India and China that fear tight regulation could curb their economic growth.

Civil aviation produces about 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The agreement – officially called Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA – is expected to slow the growth of emissions as passenger numbers are estimated to double to 7 billion by 2034. The deal is said to cost airlines less than 2 per cent of their annual revenues.

CORSIA will apply to international passenger and cargo flights as well as business aircraft that generate more than 10,000 tones of emissions annually, at which point operators will have to buy carbon credits to offset growth in emissions.


Posted in Airlines, Environment, News

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