This Thursday the governments of more than 190 countries came together in agreement over an issue that is important to the environment. The governments reached a decision about the environmental impact of airplane travel. The measure is going to work to lower air travel emissions.
Overall, it’s been a good week for the environment and the fight against climate change. Earlier this week significant progress was reached on the Paris accord. Fortunately, enough countries ratified the climate deal. So it looks like the agreement is going to come into force later in the year. Probably before the COP22 in November.
Lowering International Jet Travel Emissions
The measure that governments adopted on Thursday was more specifically regarding airplane travel. The move singularly goes after airplane travel. Flying to reach your destination is one of the conveniences of modern life. But the impact on the environment is significant. International jet travel is responsible for a chunk of emissions that is not easy to overlook. This measure hopes to limit the impact that jet travel has on the climate.
The measure is actually a plan for the aviation. It reached its final form after years of negotiations between interested parties. Now, it was approved at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.
The measure will require air carriers to make changes to their operations that will be beneficial to the environment. They will have to take steps to improve the fuel economy of their fleets. Also, they will probably speed up the purchase of new, more fuel efficient planes.
There is a small chance that the measure could lead to higher airfares. Air carriers could choose to pass on the cost to the consumer, instead of just absorbing the cost of the program. Even if that happens, analysts say that the increases would be small and not very noticeable.
190 Governments in Agreement
The accord is going to take effect in 2021. But government leaders already applauded it. They see it as a big step in cutting down the impact of international flights to the environment. Airplane travel is responsible for 2 percent of greenhouse gases emissions on a global level.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that the measure was “unprecedented”. He added that it builds on the Paris accord as well as other international efforts to lower emissions. In a statement, Secretary Kerry said that the measure “addresses a growing source of global emissions, demonstrates the international community’s strong and growing support for climate action in all areas and helps avoid a patchwork of potentially costly and overlapping regional and national measures”.
The Paris accord does not cover international aviation, just like it does not cover international shipping. This Tuesday brought good news for the fight against climate change. The European Union ratified the accord and that reached a threshold of acceptance. With the EU, countries responsible for more than 55 percent of the global emissions have signed on to the deal. That means the accord is going to go into effect. But that still left international aviation without any clear objectives for lowering emissions. This new agreement designed specifically for aviation takes care of that.
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