EPA introduces first U.S. airplane carbon regulations

May 14, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sent the nation’s first rule on airplane greenhouse gas emissions to the White House for approval.

The rule has not been finalized, but it could potentially limit carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes, one of the most carbon-intensive modes of transportation in the U.S.

The Trump administration has mostly weakened environmental regulations or gotten rid of them entirely, but it is bound to regulate aircraft greenhouse gas emissions due to a 2016 EPA finding that those emissions “may be reasonably anticipated to endanger public health and welfare.”

The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said it expects the proposed rule to be at least as stringent as the International Civil Aviation Organization’s 2017 carbon dioxide emissions standards.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. is responsible for nearly half of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft.

Airplanes account for about 11% of carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. transportation sources and 3% of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.

Without regulations, aircraft could emit about 43 trillion kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050.

EPA introduces first U.S. airplane carbon regulations