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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.

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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...
Report
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
 

From the ICCT Blogs

The next generation of electric vehicles is on the way
Electric vehicle metrics like range and cost are expected to continue to dramatically improve over the next few years as the next-generation technology emerges. In turn, these cost reductions will enable competitive pricing for high-volume mainstream markets.
Staff Blog
Adding to the pile of evidence: Recent on-road testing results for CO2 and exhaust emissions from Euro 6 light-duty vehicles in the EU
Summarizes the Emissions Analytics testing on nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates, both of which pose significant health problems, and CO2 which is vehicles' main contribution to climate pollution.
Staff Blog
Mapping U.S. electric vehicle markets and public policy
Consumer subsidies, charging infrastructure, non-financial incentives, model availability, and outreach and awareness activities across the 50 most populous metro areas as we near the end of a politically eventful year for electric vehicles in the United States.
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