Press Release

FlightPath 1.5 launches 100 days after COP21 to urge the UN to cap and cut aviation’s climate pollution

March 21, 2016

Prominent environmental organizations today launched FlightPath 1.5, an international campaign aimed at solving the defining global climate change issue of 2016: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the airline industry. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations (UN) decision-making body charged with regulating aviation emissions, takes up the issue in September. If it fails to take bold steps, aviation emissions are projected to triple by 2050. Aviation, a top-ten global polluter, was not directly addressed in the landmark COP21 Paris climate agreement agreed to 100 days ago today.

The launch of FlightPath 1.5 builds on ICAO’s recent release of a Draft Resolution on a Market-Based Measure ( and the upcoming Global Aviation Dialogues (, at which government, industry, and civil society stakeholders will discuss the Draft Resolution beginning this week.

FlightPath 1.5 calls for capping and cutting emissions of the entire international aviation sector and is advocating for an aggressive and transparent ICAO deal that:

1. Initially caps net carbon emissions of international aviation at 2020 levels;

2. Encourages airlines to meet the cap by cutting their own emissions and lets them use market-based measures as well – but only if those measures deliver high-quality emission reductions and low-carbon biofuels that promote sustainable development; and,

3. Reviews the cap regularly, so that over time, aviation’s climate pollution can be ratcheted-down in line with the Paris target.

In the lead-up to the ICAO General Assembly, FlightPath 1.5 will spend the next 200 days urging world leaders to confront the aviation emissions climate gap and educating the public about the importance of this unaddressed issue. The campaign is spearheaded by the Aviation Environment Federation, Carbon Market Watch, Environmental Defense Fund, The International Council on Clean Transportation, Transport & Environment, and World Wildlife Fund.

Statements from FlightPath 1.5 Members

“World leaders committed to a 1.5°C target in Paris to safeguard families and communities from the impacts of climate change. Now, countries need to fulfill their Paris promises by ensuring that the aviation industry does its fair share. ICAO’s draft global market-based measure is an important step in reaching agreement in October, but the text does not currently align with the environmental goals of the Paris Agreement. Governments should come together over the coming months to improve it.” – Brad Schallert, Senior Program Officer for International Climate Change Policy at World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

“Curbing aviation emissions will require more than currently available technological improvements, making a market-based measure an essential tool to efficiently incentivise the industry to achieve deeper cuts. We can’t assume that the biofuels and other radical technological breakthroughs will automatically materialize and put aviation on a flightpath in line with 1.5°C. A well-designed market-based measure is the safety net the aviation industry needs.” – Tim Johnson, Director for Aviation Environment Federation

“The agreement in ICAO must be a starting point, not the end, of greater ambition in Europe. With the EU having committed to a 40% emissions reduction by 2030, all sectors including aviation must contribute. The ICAO Agreement must recognize the need for developed countries to do more, and Europe must take up the baton with more effective measures to reduce the rapid growth in the emissions of its aviation sector.” – Bill Hemmings of Brussels-based Transport & Environment

“The recently proposed CO2 aircraft standard won’t drive emissions down in this fast-growing sector. U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau just announced their commitment to get a deal at the ICAO Assembly this year. We call on them and other world leaders to agree a market-based measure that truly delivers.” – Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund


FlightPath 1.5 is a global campaign of leading environmental voices, dedicated to cutting aviation climate pollution and ensuring that aviation contributes its fair share to the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Find out more at

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