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Iata has welcomed moves to agree a CO2 efficiency standard for commercial aircraft.

The standard, which has taken six years of “painstaking” negotiation and technical work, was approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (Icao) committee on aviation environmental protection.

Due to come into force from 2020, it is designed to ensure that CO2 emissions from new aircraft will have to meet a minimum baseline – defined as a maximum fuel burn per flight kilometre which must not be exceeded.

This will also apply from 2023 to existing aircraft designs still in manufacture at that date.

Iata director general and chief executive, Tony Tyler, said: “The CO2 standard does not solve aviation’s climate challenge on its own, but it is an important element in our comprehensive strategy for tackling carbon emissions.

“The next milestone will be the implementation of a market-based measure to address CO2 emissions, which we hope to see agreed at the Icao Assembly in September.”

He added: “Our shared industry goals are for carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and for a 50% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050.

“This CO2 standard is a significant milestone towards those targets, and proves that the industry and the world’s governments are working together to find a sustainable future for aviation.”