ICAO, Google Agree to Collaborate on Decarbonizing Aviation

The organizations will share expertise on carbon-footprint calculation.

ICAO and Google will collaborate on improving carbon calculation methods. [Courtesy: ICAO]

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Google announced a collaboration to share expertise regarding methodologies for calculating carbon emissions and contributing to the decarbonization of the aviation industry. 

Under the new agreement, the partners will work together to identify opportunities to improve decarbonization methodologies in an effort to generate more reliable, uniform, and accurate carbon measurements. ICAO and Google said these efforts will “empower the general public, industry stakeholders, and regulators” to make well-informed and environmentally sustainable and science based choices regarding air transport.

“Currently, a wide range of independently produced aviation carbon calculators provide very diverse emissions estimate results for a given aircraft and flight,” said ICAO secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “This is largely due to different sets of data being employed, simplifications in the related methodologies, and scientific uncertainty. ICAO’s new partnership with Google should result in much more reliable results for passengers and shippers everywhere.”

Currently ICAO and Google each offer emission assessment tools. ICAO said its Carbon Emissions Calculator is the “only calculator of its type to be approved by aviation regulators.” Google’s Travel Impact Model is publicly accessible and used for estimating flight emissions at the individual passenger level.

“We want to help everyone make more sustainable choices when they travel,” said Sebnem Erzan, head of Google’s travel sustainability and transport partnerships. “Together with ICAO, we can continue to improve the Travel Impact Model for flight emissions and increase transparency for travelers around the world.”

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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