A majority of the 190 governments belonging to the international body that oversees civil aviation have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. The decision, taken Friday by the International Civil Aviation Organization, will cover 90 percent of worldwide air traffic.
The deal breaks a 10 year ICAO stalemate over greenhouse gases and marks the first time governments have agreed to reduce emissions from an individual economic sector.
The delegates adopted a comprehensive resolution to reduce the impact of aviation emissions on climate change. The agreement provides a roadmap for action through 2050 for the ICAO member states.
The governments agreed to cap greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels, and to improve fuel efficiency by two percent annually to 2050.
The resolution was adopted with some states expressing reservations and calling upon the ICAO Council to continue its work on specific aspects of the agreement.
The agreement comes two months before climate negotiations are taken up by these same governments at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, summit meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez of Mexico, president of the ICAO Council, said, 'We feel that the Assembly resolution and related decisions are good examples of the spirit of cooperation that can make a substantial contribution to the UNFCCC discussions.'
'This agreement demonstrates what can be achieved when parties with divergent and even conflicting views are determined to progress towards results that are in the best interest of an industry as critical to the world economy as aviation,' Kobeh observed.