UN group adopts 2050 goal of net-zero emissions from planes

Oct 7, 2022, 1:29 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm

A United Nations organization on Friday committed to sharply cut carbon emissions from air travel by 2050 in response to growing pressure for airlines to reduce their pollution.

Several major environmental groups praised the move, saying it could encourage the production of more sustainable aviation fuel. But they cautioned that it will be difficult to push countries to follow up with policies that actually reduce emissions.

Aviation is a relatively small contributor to overall climate-changing emissions, but its share is expected to grow. More people are expected to travel on planes in the coming years, and aviation lacks cleaner alternatives such as electric power that are rapidly becoming widely available for cars and trucks.

On Friday in Montreal, representatives of nearly 200 nations in the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization adopted what the agency called an “aspirational goal” of reaching “net zero” emissions by 2050.

The decision capped nearly a decade of negotiations and occurred as aviation comes under more pressure to fall in line with conditions of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate, which aims to cap the rise in global temperature. Crucially, the U.N. agency’s resolution does not set targets for individual countries or airlines.

Mark Brownstein, a senior official at the Environmental Defense Fund, said the resolution raised hope that travel will be more sustainable. “But the work isn’t over,” he said. “Now is the time for countries to act by establishing policies that support achievement of a 2050 net-zero goal for aviation with measurable progress in the interim.”

Dan Rutherford, who tracks the issue for the International Council on Clean Transportation, said that to hit the net-zero target, aviation emissions will need to peak and start decreasing as soon as 2025, “with richer countries taking the lead.”

Airlines and governments expect to greatly reduce emissions by gradually switching from kerosene-based jet fuel to fuels made from fats, grease, plants or renewables. The European Union has proposed higher taxes on fossil fuels including jet fuel. But reaching net zero could require tougher measures including limits on flights – at least until large electric- or hydrogen-powered planes are feasible decades from now.

Airlines for America said it applauded the U.N. group’s resolution, which could avoid a patchwork of policies by individual countries. The industry trade group called the 2050 milestone “ambitious,” but said airlines are already working with the U.S. government to make 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel available by 2030.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Policemen pin down and detain a protester during a protest on a street in Shanghai, China on...
Associated Press

China security forces are well-prepared for quashing dissent

BEIJING (AP) — When it comes to ensuring the security of their regime, China’s Communist Party rulers don’t skimp. The extent of that lavish spending was put on display when the boldest street protests in decades broke out in Beijing and other cities, driven by anger over rigid and seemingly unending restrictions to combat COVID-19. […]
20 hours ago
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., updates reporters as Congress moves urgently to head o...
Associated Press

Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to avert what could have been an economically ruinous freight rail strike won final approval in Congress on Thursday as lawmakers responded quickly to President Joe Biden’s call for federal intervention in a long-running labor dispute. The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

EPA proposes restrictions to block proposed Alaska mine

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed restrictions that would block plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region that is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. A statement from the regional EPA office said discharges of dredged or fill material into the waters […]
20 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Ea...
Associated Press

Biden to Dems: Scrap caucuses, promote diversity in primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that Democrats should give up “restrictive” caucuses and move to champion diversity in the order of their presidential primary calendar, dealing a major blow to Iowa’s decadeslong status as the first voting state. In a letter to the rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee, Biden does […]
20 hours ago
***HOLD for Story running Wed. Nov. 30, 2022 *** FILE - A family walks over cracked mud near Lake O...
Associated Press

Drought-hit California cities to get little water from state

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California water agencies that serve 27 million people will get just 5% of what they requested from the state to start 2023, water officials announced Thursday. The news of limited water comes as California concludes its driest three-year stretch on record and as water managers brace for a fourth year with […]
20 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden answers questions with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as they leave ...
Associated Press

High court to rule on Biden student loan cancellation plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether the Biden administration can broadly cancel student loans, keeping the program blocked for now but signaling a final answer by early summer. That’s about two months before the newly extended pause on loan repayments is set to expire. The administration had wanted a court […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
UN group adopts 2050 goal of net-zero emissions from planes