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Airlines for America Applauds EPA Proposal to Adopt ICAO Aircraft Emissions Standard

Stringent Requirement will Help U.S. Carriers Meet Aggressive Sustainability Goals

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2020 – Airlines for America (A4A) – the industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines – today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to adopt the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standard for future aircraft.

The rigorous global standard, which was the culmination of six years of rigorous assessment by government, environmental and industry experts, was agreed to by the Governing Council of ICAO in 2016 and endorsed by all ICAO Member States for codification as an international standard in early 2017. The standard, which takes into account safety, technological feasibility and environmental benefit, applies to new models of commercial aircraft starting this year and existing in-production models starting in 2023. EPA’s proposal to adopt the ICAO standard will further enable U.S. airlines to meet the industry’s goals to achieve carbon neutral growth in the near term and to cut net carbon emissions in half in 2050 relative to 2005 levels.

Adoption of the internationally agreed aircraft certification standard is also critical to further enable U.S. aviation, as U.S. aircraft manufacturers need to have their aircraft certified to the standard to be able to sell their aircraft in the international market and for U.S. airlines to be able to deploy those aircraft in international service.

“EPA’s proposal to adopt ICAO’s fuel efficiency and CO2 certification standard for newly manufactured aircraft is good for our industry, for our country and for the world,” said Nancy Young, A4A Vice President, Environmental Affairs. “Although the U.S. airlines are already driven to be highly fuel- and carbon-efficient, this stringent new emissions standard will help U.S. airlines make a green industry even greener.”

U.S. airlines are helping to lead the fight against climate change with a myriad of measures including developing and deploying sustainable alternative jet fuels, investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft and operating them in more efficient ways. In fact, U.S. carriers improved their fuel efficiency by 40 percent between 2000 and 2019 and transported 2.5 million passengers and 58,000 tons of cargo per day last year while contributing just 2 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. airlines have also committed to a second international agreement under ICAO called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which calls for carbon-neutral growth in international civil aviation beginning next year.

A4A and our members reaffirm our commitment to protecting the planet as we work through the COVID-19 crisis to reconnect it. To learn more about the U.S. airline industry’s commitment to the environment, please visit

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