ICAO carbon emission standard
An International Civil Aviation Organization committee in July agreed on a common metric for measuring and comparing carbon dioxide emissions that takes into account aircraft types and different technologies, paving the way for formal adoption of a worldwide carbon standard that drives further improvement in fuel efficiency.
The system accounts for factors such as fuselage geometry, maximum take-off weight and fuel burn performance at three different cruise conditions.
The aviation sector contributes 2 percent of global manmade carbon emissions.
The environmental protection committee will now move to the next step of standard development, which includes defining certification procedures to support the new metrics and the scope of the standards.
ICAO said an appropriate regulatory limit for the aircraft CO2 will then be analyzed, using criteria for technical feasibility, environmental benefit, cost effectiveness and residual impacts.
A carbon standard is expected to be fully developed by the end of 2013.
Consensus for the new metrics was achieved among airlines, aircraft manufacturers, environmental groups and other stakeholders, ICAO said.
The International Air Transport Association called the metric to define a CO2 standard for aircraft a “major milestone.”
“Establishing a standard for future generations of aircraft will help to ensure that the environmental benefits of the billions of dollars of airline investments in new aircraft are being maximized,” Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement.
IATA, which represents the airline industry, criticized the European Union for trying to unilaterally implement an emissions trading scheme that covers all airlines flying in European airspace before the international standards process is complete.
The aviation industry has set a voluntary target of improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent per year through 2020, carbon neutral growth after 2020, and a 50 percent cut in net emissions by 2050 from a 2005 baseline, according to IATA.
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