Airline Climate Deal Moves Toward Final Approval in Montreal

  • At least 60 nations have pledged to participate in the deal
  • Agreeemnt caps international flight emissions at 2020 levels

A United Nations accord to limit emissions from international air travel appeared to move toward becoming the first global climate accord targeting a single industry.

After nine days of debate in Montreal, the president of the UN’s aviation agency told delegates from 190 nations to bring final objections to him by 8 a.m. local time on Thursday in preparation to approve the measure. Under the agreement, companies would offset emissions growth after 2020 by funding environmental initiatives.

Still the outcome remains uncertain. While the deal has backing from at least 60 nations, including the U.S. and most of Europe, it has drawn objections from India, Russia and Brazil, which argue the measure would unfairly penalize developing countries with fast-growing aviation sectors.

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization estimates the agreement would cost airlines between $5.3 billion and $23.9 billion by 2035. Exhaust from international flights accounts for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gases, yet was largely omitted from the Paris accord on climate change last year because delegates feared divvying up responsibility for global routes could derail the broader deal.

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