ICAO has formally adopted a new global standard for aircraft carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, building on an agreement reached in February 2016.

The new standard, which has been added to an annex of the Chicago Convention and adopted by the 36-state ICAO Council, is aimed at capping aircraft CO2 emissions and will be gradually introduced from 2020.

“International civil aviation has once again taken pioneering action to address the impact of aviation CO2 emissions on the global climate, making air transport the first industry sector globally to adopt a CO2 emissions design certification standard,” ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said.

Initially, it will apply to new aircraft types, before being rolled out to in-production aircraft from 2028. After 2028, any aircraft not meeting the criteria cannot be produced, unless their designs are modified.

The European Commission, which has been a strong campaigner on aviation emissions, welcomed the formalization.

“It could help save up to 650 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040 and contribute to a greener aviation sector. The EU [European Union] was one of the strongest proponents of this standard and I am happy to see that our efforts and advocacy have paid off. Work is also on track to develop the global market-based measure that was agreed last October. Europe will continue to play an active role in these discussions,” EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said.

Last October, ICAO’s 39th assembly agreed a new carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA), referred to by Bulc.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com