UN chief welcomes decision by global aviation body to cut global greenhouse gases

7 October 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the yesterday’s decision of the member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to adopt a new emissions standard to control global greenhouse gas emissions from international airline flights.

“The Secretary-General commends this important first step to limit carbon emissions from air travel and calls for further strengthening of emissions standards as quickly as possible, in line with the scientific imperative for action,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson today.

“He encourages governments to seize the next major opportunity this month to reduce global emissions by supporting an amendment to the Montreal Protocol [on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer] to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons, a potent, short-lived greenhouse gas,” it added.

The new rules, adopted yesterday by ICAO, will curb carbon emissions from passenger and cargo airplanes as of 2020 through a carbon offset mechanism, which is voluntary until 2027. Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation are growing rapidly, with the number of flights worldwide expected to double in the next 15 years, and account for a quarter of all emissions by 2050.

The decision by ICAO member States comes just a day after the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change has crossed the final threshold that will enter into force on 4 November 2016.

Late Wednesday, the latest instruments of ratification were accepted in deposit, boosting the number of countries backing the accord to those representing more than 55 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions, as needed for implementation.

The Montreal-based ICAO works with 191 member States and aviation industry groups to reach consensus on international standards, practices and policies for the civil aviation sector.

 

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Countries back UN agency's landmark framework to curb aviation emissions

Member States of the United Nations civil aviation agency agreed today on a new emissions standard to control global greenhouse gas emissions from international airline flights.