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

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
International Civil Aviation Organization CO2 standard for new aircraft
A concise overview of ICAO's proposed aircraft efficiency standard, covering the policy background and standard requirements, and preliminary analysis of expected effects on CO2 emissions.
Policy update
Transatlantic airline fuel efficiency ranking, 2014
This study is an extension of ICCT’s work benchmarking U.S. airline fuel efficiency on domestic operations since 2010.

From the ICCT Blogs

Black carbon: Bringing the heat to the Arctic
On her 32-day voyage through the Northwest Passage, the Crystal Serenity probably emitted a bit more than 1 metric ton of black carbon, a climate forcer about 3200 times more powerful than CO2—and in the Arctic, pretty much the worst place possible.
Staff Blog
A world of thoughts on Phase 2
Regulatory action to address CO2 emissions and fuel use from heavy-duty vehicles is accelerating around the world. With that in mind, we've been keeping an eye on how the Phase 2 announcement has been covered in markets outside the U.S.
Staff Blog
Heavy fuel oil is considered the most significant threat to the Arctic. So why isn’t it banned yet?
When we know that heavy fuel oil is the biggest threat to the Arctic marine environment, dangerous to human and environmental health, and already banned in the Antarctic, shouldn’t we seriously consider prohibiting its use in the Arctic?
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