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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

10 February 2016

UN aviation body to address new emission rules rift

The new set of standards on aircraft emissions could impact the larger planes built by the likes of Boeing and Airbus.

The proposed changes are currently being discussed by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), with the potential impact it could have on the production of certain aircraft being a key concern for some of the parties involved.

The new standards would be a first for the aviation industry and they are being designed to ensure that the sector plays its role in the reduction of carbon emissions. They were not included during the recent Paris climate summit, but discussions have been underway for more than six years.

Part of the delay has been caused by differences in the targeted levels of efficiency, with the US and Canada looking for something more strict. Europe, on the other hand, has been accused of prolonging the talks, with a reluctance to agree to such staunch changes.

If passed, the new legislation could put increased pressure on the European plane maker, Airbus, while also potentially leading to the ceasing in production of Boeing’s struggling 747-8, alongside other older models.

Although the standards would have leniency towards aircraft already in production this has not stemmed the controversy, with many suggesting that the cost of future upgrades would not be financially viable. The changes would also impact smaller companies away from the global market leaders.

Despite the fact that it is strongly believed that the new changes will have a major impact on efficiency, it is also believed that the actual tangible effect on carbon emissions would probably be rather limited.

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