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Emissions standards for planes are coming

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Feb 9, 2016
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The aviation industry and United Nations have hammered out some new carbon emissions standards for the first time. They’ll be like the emissions limits we now have on cars and trucks. 

The emission standards were proposed by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization.

The UN says the new emissions standards will take effect in 2023. And it recommends that aircraft manufacturers not be allowed to make a plane that doesn’t meet the standards after 2028.

Airline analysts say aircraft manufacturers have already been making planes more fuel efficient.

“The question is whether this agreement in and of itself will make them more efficient than they might have been anyway,” said Seth Kaplan of Airline Weekly.

Aviation accounts for less than 2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, but the UN expects international passengers and flights to double by 2030. 

Kaplan expects more negotiations on how the UN will enforce the new regulations.

“What happens to an airline that just keeps flying very old aircraft and doesn’t improve?” he wondered. “That’s the next stage of negotiations.”

The new standards still have to be approved by each country in the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization.

How We Survive
How We Survive
Climate change is here. Experts say we need to adapt. This series explores the role of technology in helping humanity weather the changes ahead.