OTTAWA – Last week in Montreal, the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization proposed new greenhouse gas emission standards for aircraft. Here’s five things to know about the proposal:
— It’s the first time that binding efficiency standards have been imposed internationally on aircraft. The negotiated proposal must still be adopted by the civil aviation councils of 36 member states.
— The standards would require an average four per cent reduction in fuel consumption at cruising altitudes for airliners and cargo planes compared to new planes built in 2015.
— All new aircraft designs would have to meet the standard starting in 2020, as would any designs in actual production by 2023. All planes manufactured after 2028 would have to comply with the new standards, but older aircraft in service would not be phased out or have to comply with the new emissions standards.
— Putting limits on aviation emissions, which comprise about two per cent of the global total but are forecast to triple, has been a priority of U.S. President Barack Obama. The White House says the new standards should cut carbon emissions by about 590 tonnes from 2020 and 2040, equivalent to taking more than 140 million cars off the road for a year.
— The regulations on emissions are to be followed by a second set of rules under negotiation by the ICAO that would establish market-based incentives, such as carbon levies, for further emission reductions by airlines. The second phase is supposed to be completed later in 2016.