ICAO CO2 Emissions Standards
Implementation & Enforcement
The final step in a global standard-setting process (implementation yet to come and perhaps more telling as to actual impact) occurred on March 6, 2017 in Montreal when the 36-State ICAO Council finally adopted a new aircraft CO2 emissions standard which will reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate. The UN organization initiated this standard when it established the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection in 1983. That technical committee of the ICAO Council has been working for more than a decade to come to a consensus of the member countries for a CO2 standard. The discussions were long and contentious going through many iterations and facing “competing mechanisms.”
The text of this international agreement is found in a new Volume III to Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention (Environmental Protection). CAEP developed and now the Council has adopted the world’s first global design certification standard governing CO2 emissions for any industry sector.
The implementation schedule is as follows:
- In 2020, the new CO 2 criteria will begin to apply new aircraft type designs.
- In 2023 the standards will be enforced against aircraft type designs already in-production.
- In 2028 the in-production aircraft which do not meet the standard will no longer be able to be produced unless their designs are sufficiently modified.
These are significant milestones which hold great promise for CO2 reduction. As Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said, “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.”
“’We have made significant investments to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of our products and will continue to do so…Environmental goals are aligned with our business goals, as greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions are top priorities for our commercial customers.’”
“Kim said Boeing’s new airplanes have been designed to meet and exceed the new emission requirements.”
“ICAO’s final approval today of aviation’s first CO2 emission standard for airplanes is a milestone that enshrines aviation manufacturers’ commitment to mitigate our industry’s impact on climate change…We are proud of the important leadership role that general aviation manufacturers played in developing the new standard over the past six years through collaboration with global authorities and civil society stakeholders.”
Oddly, no comments were found from AIA or A4A.
ICAO IS GOOD AT CREATING STANDARDS, BUT IT IS NOT WELL SUITED TO ENFORCING STANDARDS. AS NEW COUNTRIES ENTER THE HIGH STAKES COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING (CHINA AMONG OTHERS), IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHETHER THE CRITERIA WILL BE ENACTED.
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