Civil aviation takes first step towards capping carbon emissions

Brussels (AFP) –


Experts have reached an agreement marking the first step towards the adoption of long sought-after carbon emissions norms for civil aircraft, a UN group said on Tuesday.

The planned measure, which wraps up six years of negotiations, 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 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.

"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 in the statement.

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 in December.

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.