programs / Aviation


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.

Featured Work



Recently Released

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...
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

From the ICCT Blogs

Italy’s car market needs to make a U-turn
Between minuscule electric vehicle (EV) sales, growing diesel shares, and Italian carmakers’ struggle to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, there is no doubt that Italy is heading in the wrong direction, but it’s not too late for a U-turn.
Staff Blog
Why (Run on) Less is more…
Run on Less is more evidence that cost-effective, high-efficiency trucks are on the road today and only getting better.
Staff Blog
Will the future RDE regulation be enough to restore trust in diesel technology?
The success of the RDE regulation will depend on the will of manufacturers to prove that they have learned a lesson from Dieselgate by beginning to focus on reducing real-world emissions, not just on passing a particular test.
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