Aviation experts agree to first emissions-reduction standards for aircrafts

Global aviation experts agreed yesterday to the first emissions-reduction standards for aircraft in a deal that is expected to take effect with new models in four years. However, according to environmental groups, the carbon dioxide cuts did not go far enough.

The standards are aimed at both small and large plane makers alike and would apply to all new aircraft models launched after 2020, according to the Montreal-based United Nations aviation agency.

They will also be phased in for existing aircraft models built from 2023, with a cut-off date of 2028 for planes that did not comply with the new standard. The standards agreed to, following six years of talks, would still need to be approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) governing council later this year. The standards would apply for national aviation authorities around the world.

Negotiators from 22 countries had been working on the world's first carbon dioxide emissions standards for aircraft as part of the industry's contribution to efforts to combat climate change.

The global climate deal reached at the UN conference in Paris in December did not include aviation, but ICAO had been trying to hammer out the standard as the first of a two-part strategy after six years of talks.

The deal comes as the latest in a series of international efforts to address climate change. Airplanes had been excluded from any international climate change deals, like the recent Paris Agreement, or the Montreal Protocol, expected to be completed later this year.

Airlines account for about 2 per cent of global emissions almost on a par with Germany, but  many analysts believe that emissions could triple by the middle of the century given the expected growth in air travel over the next decades.

A number of environmental groups pointed out at that the proposed rules were too weak and did not include aircraft currently in use.

However, the deal's advocates including the Obama administration, backed the deal saying that it was an important first step and that it had helped tackle the most intractable rifts over reducing carbon emissions.

''This is another example of the administration's deep commitment to working with the international community on policies that will reduce harmful carbon pollution worldwide,'' Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, said in a statement.

The White House said in a statement, that ''without additional action, emissions from the aviation sector are projected to grow by nearly 50 percent.''