Press Releases

ACI commends ICAO on global agreement on CO2 standard for aircraft

Montreal, 8 February 2016Governments, industry and environmental groups meeting at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have today finalized the design of the first global certification standard for CO2 emissions from new aircraft. The new environmental measure was unanimously recommended by the 170 international experts on ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), paving the way for its ultimate adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council. 

The CO2 Standard will apply to all new aircraft models launched after 2020. The standard will also be phased in for all existing aircraft types rolling off the production line from 2023, even if they were designed and launched prior to 2020. A production cut-off date of 2028 has been recommended for any aircraft that do not comply with the CO2 Standard. The standard will be reviewed periodically to increase its stringency in line with technological advancement. ICAO has a long track record of implementing similar standards in noise, safety, security and air navigation. Once the CO2 Standard is formally adopted by the ICAO Council, it will be implemented by national civil aviation authorities around the world and will be part of the rigorous certification process that all new aircraft must meet before entering service. 

The CO2 Standard is part of a wider series of industry initiatives aimed at reducing aviation’s impact on the climate. For its part, ACI has developed the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, launched in 2009, which helps airports become certified across four levels: Mapping, Reduction, Optimization and Neutrality. As of early January 2016, 151 airports worldwide have been certified, representing 31.2% of global air passenger traffic. As an adjunct to Airport Carbon Accreditation, ACI offers the Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT) at no cost to help airports track their carbon emissions.

“Today’s agreement represents an important next step in aviation’s commitment to tackle climate change, and ICAO is to be commended for agreeing on the CO2 Standard,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “The industry is moving forward collectively with ambitious goals—and more importantly making measureable progress—to cap net CO2 emissions from 2020 and reduce net CO2 emissions from aviation to half of 2005 levels by 2050.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the future of aviation depends on our dedication to the cause of environmental stewardship,” Gittens added. “Today’s agreement underscores the sector’s united stance on carbon emissions reduction.”

Notes for editors

1. Airports Council International, the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. To learn more about ACI, please click here.

2. For more information on ICAO’s CO2 Standard, please click here.  

3. The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), of which ACI is a founding member, has created a fact sheet on the CO2 Standard. To view the document, please click here.

4. For more information on ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, please click here.

5. For more information on ACI’s free ACERT toolkit, please click here.

6. To download a pdf version of this media release, please click here.

Media contact

Ryan White
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1226