Advertisement

Aviation sector says it can be carbon neutral

Offset arrangements follow flurry of support for the Paris climate agreement.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Aviation sector says it can be carbon neutral
International aviation group announces agreement to help limit emissions from the sector, coming on the heels of breakthrough support for last year's Paris climate arrangement. Photo by Stephen Shaver /UPI | License Photo

Moving in the wake of the Paris climate deal, an international aviation authority announced a breakthrough agreement to control emissions.

Acknowledging years of stalled efforts, the International Civil Aviation Organization announced an agreement to limit the industries greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting it with activities like planting trees and other carbon sinks. The aviation industry as a whole emits about the equivalent of a major world economy.

Advertisement

"It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our member states, industry and civil society," ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said in a statement.

The arrangement is voluntary, though it's one of the first industry-backed schemes of its kind in the world. The transportation sector is typically one of the greatest sources of emissions after the electric power sector.

RELATED Advocate sees Paris climate deal as a call for action

Critics of the arrangement note the global economy could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere quicker than ecosystems like forest are absorbing it now. Marc Garneau, the transportation minister for Canada, which hosted the ICAO conference, said arrangement has the potential to make the civil aviation sector carbon neutral.

Advertisement

"This is the first global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since COP21 in Paris, and I am extremely proud of the leadership role that Canada played in the negotiation of this global deal," he said in a statement.

More than 70 countries that combine for around 55 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions have now joined the Paris agreement. A flood of signatures deposited in support of the climate agreement formulated last year means it will enter into force Nov. 4

RELATED After Paris, India gets support for solar power

RELATED U.N.'s Ban to address Europe on climate deal

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement