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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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Alternative jet fuel development and deployment in North America
Evaluates the trajectory of GHG emissions from international aviation in the U.S. and Canada as well as the possible GHG reductions that could be made from deployment of alternative jet fuels (AJFs) within the framework of the...
Briefing
Mitigating international aviation emissions: Risks and opportunities for alternative jet fuels
Evaluates the potential for alternative jet fuels (AJFs) to decarbonize the aviation sector and the risks associated with those fuels’ sustainability, costs and barriers to commercialization. 
White paper
International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
Describes the details of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the International Civil Aviation Organization’s market-based measure to offset most of the growth in aviation carbon...
Policy update
 

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From the ICCT Blogs

Maximizing aircraft fuel efficiency: Make sure the economics add up
Richard Golaszewski's insights on what a successful clean-sheet aircraft program looks like—from research and development to sales, what made it successful, and what makes sense for manufacturers and airlines today to repeat that success.
Staff Blog
The IMO just took a significant step toward reducing the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic
The IMO will consider concrete proposals on ways to reduce the risks of HFO at the next meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee, MEPC 72 in April 2018. A decision on what should be done to mitigate the risks of HFO could come as early as 2019.
Staff Blog
Where does the U.S. stand on biofuels now?
The messages on cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and latitude in interpreting the statute may not be entirely consistent, but one thing is clear: U.S. EPA is now intent on dialing down RFS obligations, and that is a real change.
Staff Blog

The Staff

Brandon Graver
Brandon Graver
Aviation Researcher
Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Naya Olmer
Naya Olmer
Marine Program Associate
Daniel Rutherford
Daniel Rutherford
Program Director / Japan Lead