ICAO environmental meeting commits to a CO2 standard

ICAOs Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) has committed to a timetable for the development of a CO2 Standard for commercial aircraft, aiming at 2013, a milestone that would establish the first global fuel-efficiency standard for any industry sector.
The new standard will set clear direction and timeframes for manufacturers to keep producing innovative aircraft design and materials, as well as more fuel efficient engines, in order to further reduce the impact of aviation on climate change and meet the ambitious goals the sector has set for itself. This is an integral component of our aggressive plan of action to systematically address the effects of aviation on climate change, said Roberto Kobeh González, President of the ICAO Council. In 2009, under the leadership of ICAO, aviation produced the first globally-harmonized agreement to address climate change from a specific sector, which included a call for the development of a new CO2 standard, he emphasized. Other elements of the agreement include a 2 percent annual improvement in fuel efficiency globally until the year 2050; a framework for market-based measures in international aviation; measures to assist developing States and to facilitate access to financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building; and the development and implementation of alternative fuels for aviation worldwide, which could lead to aviation being the first sector to use sustainable alternative fuels on a global basis. The eighth meeting of the CAEP, held from 1 to 12 February at ICAO Headquarters, also recommended NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) standards up to 15 percent more stringent than the current levels, applicable to new aircraft engines certified after 31 December 2013. A cut-off date of 31 December 2012 was recommended for engines produced under existing NOx standards. Together, these two recommendations would help ensure that the most efficient technology is used in the production of aircraft engines in the near future. CAEP also initiated work on assessing the need for a more stringent standard for aircraft noise. All recommendations of the meeting will be reviewed by the Council of ICAO in the coming months. Regarding market-based measures, the meeting recommended that reports related to voluntary emissions trading systems, linking of open emissions trading systems, and offsetting emissions from aviation sector be published. These reports will provide guidance to aviation stakeholders when evaluating different schemes for environmental mitigation. ICAOs CAEP is composed of leading technical experts in the environmental field from around the world, whose recommendations over the past 40 years have laid the basis for the remarkable progress of civil aviation in minimizing the impact of aircraft emissions and noise through technological, operational and market-based measures.
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