Aviation’s black box: Non-disclosure agreements, closed doors and rising CO2

One of the world’s most important institutions in the fight against climate change is also one of the UN’s most opaque.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), headquartered in downtown Montreal, has been charged with reducing the rising carbon emissions from international flight – an enormous commercial, technical and public relations challenge for the industry.

Between 2013 and 2018, aviation sector emissions grew from 710 to 905 million tonnes of CO2, according to the latest estimates by the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Flying now generates just under 3% of global emissions, roughly the same as Germany. Icao’s own forecast anticipates emissions to increase by up to 300% by 2050 under business as usual.

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