The global aviation industry has agreed to set limits to carbon emissions for the first time in a bid to limit the impact of commercial flights on the climate.
The aviation pact was reached in Montreal only hours after a more sweeping climate treaty agreed last year in Paris reached the threshold to take effect in November, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Paris deal committed more than 190 nations to regulate carbon emissions blamed for the earth’s warming.
International flights were not included in that accord, although they are among the major emitters of carbon dioxide.
On Thursday members of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the commercial aviation regulator of the United Nations, committed themselves to capping carbon-dioxide emissions from international flights at 2020 levels.
Airlines that pollute more than the prescribed level after 2020 would have to purchase carbon-offsetting credits, the newspaper said.
The deal involves a compliance system that would be voluntary from 2021 but would become mandatory in 2027, the report said.
The International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 200 airlines, estimates that the cost of the program to airlines in 2035 could range from US$5.3 billion to as much as US$23.9 billion, depending on the price of carbon at the time.
Airlines spent some US$181 billion on fuel last year.
More than 60 governments, including the United States and China, have pledged to participate in the program to achieve “carbon-neutral” growth.
India and Russia, two big aviation markets, have not signed up for the program.
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