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International agreement to slash aircraft carbon emissions


lookingdownAirlines are one of the harder sectors to decarbonise and reduce carbon emissions.
23 countries have now signed a landmark agreement to reduce carbon emissions in large commercial airlines.

The goal of the international agreement is to reduce aircraft carbon emissions by over 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040. The aim is to reduce fuel consumption by 4% of: commercial aircraft built after 2028; new aircraft designs from 2020 onwards; and deliveries of current in-production aircraft designs from 2023 onwards.

Commercial aircraft accounts for approximately 11% of the total transportation sector carbon emissions. Improving aircraft fuel efficiency will therefore contribute significantly towards emissions reductions.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international carbon emissions,” stated ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.

Despite improved fuel efficiency, overall emissions may still increase. This as a result of the rapid growth in commercial aircraft activity as the developing world has industrialised.

ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu went on to say that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.

He said that the proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact, which is namely larger aircraft. “Operations of aircraft weighing over 60 tonnes account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.”

Image by: Lenny DiFranza

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  1. An idea: Use onboard hydrogen fuel cells to create electricity and use the electricity with a buffer battery in between to drive ducted fans for propulsion…no carbon emissions at all…just water collected and returned to earth.


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