WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration announced today that public health is harmed by carbon pollution from commercial airplanes, major sources of global warming emissions that have long gone unregulated in the United States.
While today’s action only begins the process of developing new regulations, the administration appears poised to replicate standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations body that will set global limits for plane emissions next year. The ICAO standards are widely anticipated to fail to require U.S. planes to achieve substantial reductions in carbon pollution, and could even allow emissions to increase. Environmental groups urged stronger standards earlier this year. Anna Aurilio, the director of Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions program, issued the following statement:
“President Obama clearly views climate action as a priority, while polluters and their allies in Congress clearly view stopping climate action a priority. Since today's announcement will likely cause a fight in Congress, we hope the president makes this a fight worth having by requiring real cuts in airplane pollution. Bold action on climate should solve the problem of pollution from airplanes, not just acknowledge it."