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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

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.
Report
 

News

News

Final EPA greenhouse gas endangerment finding for aircraft is a needed step on aviation carbon emissions
July 25, 2016—The final endangerment finding on aircraft...

Draft Technical Assessment Report shows U.S. 2025 light-duty vehicle GHG/CAFE standards are firmly on track [press statement]
July 18, 2016—The technical assessment released today by...

Comments on RFS 2017-2018
ICCT comments to the U.S. EPA on proposed volumes for the...

Volkswagen consent decree is a historic milestone [Press statement]
28 June 2016—The consent decree announced today by the...

From the ICCT Blogs

Mexico City commits to a soot-free urban bus fleet
For any city wanting to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions, buses are an obvious place to start. Mexico City has requested our support, and we will be developing a joint workplan, to kick off with a public workshop in September.
Staff Blog
Taking stock of the VW settlement agreement
Considering how much the likelihood of discovery and the magnitude of the consequences have increased in just nine months, it’s safe to say that the odds in favor of a genuinely cleaner transportation sector have gotten dramatically better.
Staff Blog
Common ground on clean transportation
Aligning standards throughout North America allows the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to take advantage of the economic and market integration of the region to meet shared goals for climate, air quality and health, at the lowest possible cost. 
Staff Blog

The Staff

Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Daniel Rutherford
Daniel Rutherford
Program Director / Japan Lead