World aviation industry reach deal to cut CO2 emissions

International airlines will be required to purchase carbon-offsetting credits if they exceed the prescribed level of CO2 emissions
International airlines will be required to purchase carbon-offsetting credits if they exceed the prescribed level of CO2 emissions

The first deal limiting greenhouse gases from international aviation has been sealed after years of wrangling.

From 2020, any increase in airline CO2 emissions will be offset by activities like tree planting, which soak up CO2.

The deal comes in a momentous week for climate policy when the Paris agreement to stabilise climate change passed a key threshold for becoming law.

Scientists applauded both commitments, but warned that plans to cut emissions are far too weak.

The aviation deal was agreed in Montreal by national representatives at the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO.

Attempts have been made for nearly two decades to include aviation and shipping in the UN’s climate agreements, but both sectors have managed to avoid firm targets.

The amount of emissions from aviation worldwide are roughly the same as those produced by the whole of Germany – and they are growing fast.

They are projected to consume approximately a quarter of the world’s remaining carbon budget by 2050.

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