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New ICAO Carbon Standard Leaves Multi-Billion-Tonne Gap

Environmental Defense Fund

Even if the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopts its proposed carbon efficiency standard for new aircraft, the industry will still face a multi-billion-tonne gap between its emissions through 2040 and its stated environmental goals, the U.S. Environmental Defense Fund’s Annie Petsonk explained in a blog post last week.

The decision last week by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection is “a step in the right direction,” writes Petsonk, EDF’s International Counsel, Climate & Air. But the plan “leaves a huge emissions gap…about 7.8 billion tonnes of carbon pollution that international aviation will have to deal with to meet its own climate goals, let alone the kinds of reductions that will be needed” to align with the Paris Agreement.

“One picture makes clear that even with the new efficiency standard, international aviation still has a huge gap between its anticipated emissions and its own environmental goals,” she notes. “The industry has a long way to go to make carbon pollution go down, not up.”