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International Air Transport Association (IATA)

IATA, ICAO agree on new CO2 emissions standard for aircraft

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has accepted the decision by representatives at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to agree a CO2 efficiency Standard for commercial aircraft.

The Standard, which has taken six years of painstaking negotiation and technical work, was approved by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection.

The Standard, to come into force from 2020, will ensure that CO2 emissions from new aircraft will have to meet a minimum baseline (defined as a maximum fuel burn per flight kilometre which must not be exceeded). From 2023 this will also apply to existing aircraft designs still in manufacture at that date.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo
International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo

“The agreement of this CO2 Standard is a vital and very welcome development. The CO2 Standard does not solve aviation’s climate challenge on its own, but it is an important element in our comprehensive strategy for tackling carbon emissions. The next milestone will be the implementation of a market-based measure to address CO2 emissions, which we hope to see agreed at the ICAO Assembly in September. Our shared industry goals are for carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and for a 50% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. This CO2 standard is a significant milestone towards those targets, and proves that the industry and the world’s governments are working together to find a sustainable future for aviation,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The CO2 Standard for aircraft will reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by encouraging the integration of fuel efficient technologies into aircraft design and development, ensures that older aircraft models end production in an appropriate timeframe or that manufacturers invest in technology to improve their efficiency.

The standard also ensures that new designs go beyond the highest fuel efficiency of today’s aircraft and is a challenging and robust standard that brings CO2 emissions into the formal certification process that new aircraft need to pass in order to enter service.

It is also part of measures to deal with industry’s climate impact which include improved operations, sustainable alternative fuels, better use of infrastructure and new technology (which the CO2 Standard will support).

According to IATA, developing the Co2 Standard is the right thing to do — for the future of the sector, for our customers and partners and for the environment.

Fuel efficiency is central to aviation’s business and sustainable growth strategy — as evidenced by the huge gains in fuel efficiency over the decades.

The formalisation of a CO2 Standard for aircraft is an important part of the sector’s overall basket of measures for climate action and is complementary to the significant work already underway in the sector: new aircraft and alternative fuels technology; optimising operational procedures; and improved infrastructure.

The Standard will ensure that all newly-developed aircraft and engines incorporate the latest commercially-available proven technologies, mindful that no single technology can be applied

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