Airplane pollution danger to public health, U.S. EPA says in initial finding

Statement by Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, on need for aviation pollution cuts

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Andreassen, +1-202-572-3387,

(WASHINGTON – June 10, 2015)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today made an initial finding that greenhouse gases from aviation are dangerous to human health and welfare, and cause and contribute to climate change. EPA also issued an advanced notice of future standards for greenhouse gases from commercial aircraft. Aircraft are the largest unregulated source of transportation emissions, and emissions from aviation could triple by 2050. Today’s finding leaves the door open for EPA to propose tighter regulations than the international limits currently under discussion at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“We have efficiency standards to reduce climate pollution from cars, trucks, and even school buses. It’s time we reduce climate pollution from airplanes, too. Climate change is a risk to public health and our economy. The aviation industry can do much better.

“Because aviation is global, the solutions must include global action as well — as President Obama recognized when he made securing an international agreement on aviation emissions a key component of his Administration’s Climate Action Plan.

“A greenhouse gas efficiency standard for airplanes is a key piece of the cleaner skies puzzle. So is an international agreement to cap climate pollution from aviation worldwide. Given the enormous growth slated for this industry, we need both.”

-Annie Petsonk, EDF International Counsel

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.