On global aviation emissions-reduction progress ‘we have liftoff!’

Yesterday, I talked about reduction of particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from diesel trucks, buses, and construction and off-road equipment. Today, aviation gets its turn as it has to do with said emissions reduction.

Two percent is the amount of “global manmade carbon emissions” aviation pumps into the air, this according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The IATA cited in a written statement dated Feb. 26, 2013 Director General and Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler at the Greener Skies Conference in Hong Kong, who expressed:

“‘A lot of progress has been made on aviation and the environment. The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was a roadblock to establishing a global approach to MBMs [Market-Based Measures]. With that roadblock removed we are well positioned for a breakthrough on MBMs. Governments are fully focused on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to agree upon a global solution at their upcoming Assembly.’”

383px-Apollo_13_liftoff-KSC-70PC-160HR[1]So, the 38th Assembly was held and the ICAO reported in its “Dramatic MBM Agreement and Solid Global Plan Endorsements Help Deliver Landmark ICAO 38th Assembly” press release, “The development of a new aircraft noise Standard was clearly welcomed by the Assembly, and further work towards the establishment of robust particulate matter and CO2 emissions Standards by the 39th Assembly in 2016 was fully encouraged. ICAO’s achievements with environmental tools were similarly supported, notably with respect to its Fuel Savings Estimation Tool which facilitates assessment of the environmental benefits of operational measures. Also strongly endorsed was ICAO’s continuing work to aid wider implementation of sustainable alternative fuels.”

In the end, a landmark market-based measures agreement was solidified between the ICAO and its States whereby aviation transport is currently the only major sector in the industry to have in place a global multilateral MBM agreement in an effort to regulate future greenhouse gas emissions, this also according to the ICAO in the Oct. 4th release.

Though in this regard there may still be much work ahead, the aviation industry, it seems, is taking the correct approach with which to improve upon what seems is already an outstanding environmental sustainability track record, one hope, of course, being the 2016 emissions standards alluded to above come about. What I would call definite progress.

For more on this, see: “More carbon-emissions cutting in aviation called for.”

Image above: NASA

– Alan Kandel