A deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from air travel has been made by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The agreement was made in Montreal and will apply to cargo and passenger flights that generate over 10,000 tonnes of annual CO2 gasses.
The deal will be introduced in 2020 with 65 countries signed up so far, which will mean any rise in airline emissions will be offset by other activities including tree planting.
Global aviation emissions from the year 2020 will be used to set the benchmark, with nearly 80% of emissions above 2020 levels to be offset until 2035.
Until 2027, the deal will be voluntary, but a number of countries including China and the US – who are the two biggest emitters in the world – have agreed to join when it’s first introduced in 2020.
For a number of years both aviation and shipping have managed to avoid being placed under any climate targets, although the United Nations has made numerous attempts to introduce some.
The ICAO had previously promised carbon neutral aviation growth in the 2020s, and set out plans to align the targets of airlines with the Paris agreement, which limits warming to two degrees Celsius.
“It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our Member States, industry and civil society,” said ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.
When implemented, the deal – which will be under review every three years – will be the first carbon-emissions cap on a global industry that does not noticeably increase costs for consumers.
The new agreement provides a golden opportunity to prevent the emission of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 in the first 15 years – the equivalent of taking roughly 35 million cars off the road for every year the programme is in place.
If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your worldwide travel insurance in advance
Date Created: 11/10/2016