Agreement will curb CO2 emissions in air travel

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Last week, at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s 39th assembly in Montreal, Canada, a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to control CO2 emissions from air travel was agreed upon by representatives from government, industry and civil society. This marks a historic consensus for the assembly and will come into effect in 2020.

The agreement was made in an effort to offset CO2 emissions from international flights, as part of a more detailed roadmap for the sustainable future of international aviation. It will mean that increase in airline emissions will be offset by activities such as tree planting.

 “We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of states who will voluntarily participate in the GMBM – and from its outset,” said ICAO council president Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “This will permit the CORSIA to serve as a positive and sustainable contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”

Aliu said participation in the agreement has been encouraging: “Air transport is not only the world's first major industry sector to adopt a global approach to international emissions reduction, but very importantly states representing more than 83 per cent of international flight operations have volunteered to participate in the GMBM from its earliest stages in 2021.”