programs / Aviation


Aircraft play a vital role in our modern economy by quickly and conveniently transporting goods and people. But they also exact environmental costs. If counted as a country, globally the aviation sector would rank 7th in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, just after Germany and well above Korea in 2011. Projections are that CO2 emissions from aviation will triple by 2050 under business-as-usual scenarios, as more people and goods move by air, unless effective policies are developed to constrain emissions growth. Nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), noise, and lead pollution also impact often disadvantaged communities living near airports.

A number of governments and international organizations are working to manage the environmental impact of the aviation industry. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized UN agency, oversees and acts as the de facto regulator of airlines and aerospace manufacturers worldwide. ICAO adopted its first aircraft noise standard in 1972 and its first engine certification standards for air pollutants in 1981. Since then, ICAO has periodically tightened both policies, and is currently developing the world’s first CO2 and PM emission standards for new aircraft and engines, respectively.

Featured Work



Recently Released

Cost assessment of near- and mid-term technologies to improve new aircraft fuel efficiency
Finds that fuel consumption of new aircraft designs could be cut by 25% in 2024 and 40% in 2034 using cost-effective emerging technologies—double the rate of improvement seen in designs coming from manufacturers now in response...
Aviation fuel efficiency technology assessment (AFETA)
Independent, transparent estimates of the incremental benefits and costs of applying fuel-burn-reducing technology packages to new aircraft in the near- and mid-term.
Consultant report
Oil market futures: Effects of low-carbon transport policies on long-term oil prices
Oil prices will be lower in the future if low-carbon transport technologies are mass deployed, as these technologies will drive a significant reduction in global demand for oil.
Consulting report



Contracts for Difference could help to expand ultralow-carbon fuel production in California [press release]
While there is a strong need to bring down the greenhouse gas...

Statement in front of U.S. House of Representatives subcommittees
On September 22, 2016 the Subcommittee on Commerce,...

Comments on TAR for MY 2022–2025 LDV GHG emissions and CAFE standards
ICCT comments to the U.S. EPA, CARB, and NHTSA on the Midterm...

Statement vor Abgas-Untersuchungsausschuss im Deutschen Bundestag
Ein Untersuchungsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestags geht seit...

From the ICCT Blogs

The latest paper by the Center for Automotive Research is not what it thinks it is
The whole report rests on a false premise about the costs of meeting the standards. And whether that reflects a lack of "objectivity" or something else, it renders the report completely unreliable as an analysis of the employment impacts of the CAFE/GHG standards.
Staff Blog
Leapfrogging an outdated standard puts India on par with global leaders in control of vehicle emissions
The adoption of Bharat Stage VI emission standards will significantly reduce air pollutant emissions from vehicles sold in India beginning in 2020. However, changes in the final rule notification will cause 3 years additional delay of truly world-class emission standards compared with the initial proposal.
Staff Blog
Brother, can you spare three cents (for the climate)?
A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the ICAO agreement would entail the aviation industry paying about three cents on the dollar of its climate damages from 2021 to 2035.
Staff Blog

The Staff

Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Naya Olmer
Naya Olmer
Marine Program Associate
Daniel Rutherford
Daniel Rutherford
Program Director / Japan Lead