ICAO Aircraft CO2 Standard closer to final adoption

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 10, 2016 14:24

ICAO Aircraft CO2 Standard closer to final adoption

The UN International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) has unanimously recommended the first CO2 efficiency Standard for commercial aircraft. The standard will now need to be adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council. 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).

“It is particularly encouraging that the CAEP’s recommendation responds so directly to the aircraft technology improvements which States have forged consensus on at recent ICAO Assemblies,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council. “Every step taken in support of ICAO’s full basket of measures for environmental improvement is an important one, and I am sure the Council will be deeply appreciative of the this latest CAEP achievement.”

Under the CAEP recommendation, 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. In its current form the standard equitably acknowledges CO2 reductions arising from a range of possible technology innovations, whether structural, aerodynamic or propulsion-based.

The proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact: for larger aircraft.  Operations of aircraft weighing over 60 tonnes account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.

The CAEP took care to ensure that the proposed Standard covers the full range of sizes and types of aircraft used in international aviation to comprehensively encompasses all technological feasibility, emissions reduction potential, and cost considerations, said ICAO in a statement.

“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,” President Aliu stressed. “Our sector presently accounts for under two percent of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, but we also recognize that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”

The move has been welcomed by Boeing and IATA. Boeing said that it was “fully committed to meeting the new CO2 emissions standard announced by ICAO”, adding that the “agreement represents real progress beyond the substantial industry achievements already made to reduce aviation emissions, with more steps ahead”.
The US airframe manufacture stated: “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. We believe the ICAO standard will have the intended results of ensuring older aircraft are replaced by newer, more efficient aircraft that will further reduce fuel use and carbon emissions.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also welcomed the decision.
“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.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 10, 2016 14:24