• Facebook
  • Youtube
  • RSS Feed

In Brazil, UN health chief calls for better coordination in fight against Zika

24 February 2016 – Continuing efforts to bolster the international response to Zika, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan arrived today in the northeast of Brazil to visit the area most affected by neurological disorders suspected of being linked to the virus, including microcephaly in babies.

The top United Nations health official visited a hospital and clinical research centre in Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state where a significant number of pregnant women who contracted the Zika virus during pregnancy have delivered babies with microcephaly.

“A coordinated international response is needed to improve surveillance, the detection of infections, congenital malformations, and neurological complications, to intensify the control of mosquito populations, and to expedite the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines to protect people at risk, especially during pregnancy,” Dr. Chan said.

Last year, as Zika was spreading through northeastern Brazil, thousands of children with suspected microcephaly were born in the region. Though many causes of microcephaly exist, suspicion has focused on Zika because the incidence of such cases has increased in areas where the virus has taken hold. In addition, several countries, including Brazil, have increased reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a neurological disorder that can result in paralysis.

Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is also taking part in the visit, which will contribute to an ongoing assessment of the Zika virus situation and response.

Last week, WHO launched its global Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan focusing on mobilizing and coordinating partners, experts and resources to respond to the spread of Zika virus and the neonatal malformations and neurological conditions associated with it.

As part of the high-level visit to Brazil, Dr. Chan has visited Brazil’s National Center for Risk and Disaster Management (CENAD) in Brasilia and met with President Dilma Rousseff.

At the beginning of February, following a first meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika, Dr Chan announced that the cluster of microcephaly cases and neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constituted a public health emergency of international concern.

The Committee advised, however, that there was no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus.

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced plans to facilitate the transfer of a nuclear technique to Brazil to help the country’s battle with the Zika virus by supressing the mosquito populations that transmit the disease.

A cobalt-60 gamma cell irradiator is expected to be transferred to the Brazilian non-profit Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) centre Moscamed in Juazeiro, Bahia, the IAEA announced at an expert meeting in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.

It could, in a few months, help scale up the production of sterile male mosquitoes to be released in selected areas, and they, once released, mate with wild females who do not produce any offspring, effectively suppressing the insect population over time, experts said, agreeing that SIT was an efficient, safe, environmentally neutral and sustainable method to control mosquito populations and fight vector-borne diseases like Zika and dengue fever.

“Our discussion summarized the current status of all methods that can be used to fight disease-transmitting mosquitoes,” said Marc Vreysen, who heads the insect pest control laboratory at the Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, a shared office between the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and IAEA.

Moscamed has long experience in applying SIT to fight insect pests, and was one of the first facilities to mass rear sterilized mosquitoes in the world,” said its Director, Jair Virginio. “The irradiator would allow our facility to produce up to 12 million sterilized male Aedes aegypti mosquitos per week, reaching up to 750 000 people in 15 municipalities in the Brazilian states of Bahia and Pernambuco, which have been particularly hard-hit by Zika.”

The announcement was made, as international experts from 12 countries gathered in Brasilia for a two-day meeting to share experiences on the use of SIT as part of a comprehensive approach to control mosquito populations along with other methods, such as site inspections and fumigation.

The meeting, organized in cooperation with Brazilian Ministry of Health, is part of the IAEA’s response to the current Zika outbreak in Central and South America. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika an international public health emergency earlier this month.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53306

Back to Top

Fiji receives relief supplies in wake of Cyclone Winston as UN backs up Government response

23 February 2016 – The United Nations has begun its work of providing international assistance to the Pacific islands of Fiji, hit by a powerful tropical cyclone that left at least 28 people dead and some 14,000 people sheltering in evacuation centres.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT) and new partners arriving in Fiji are requested to work through Fiji’s existing operational structure to allow for a coordinated and effective response.

It has been agreed that OCHA will be the conduit for communications between Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office and international humanitarian partners regarding offers of assistance.

Relief supplies and assessment teams have now arrived on Koro Island, where whole villages have been destroyed, OCHA’s situation report says.

New Zealand has offered aid exceeding $2 million (NZD). Its 13-strong response team aboard a plane carrying 12 tonnes of supplies, requested by the Fiji Government, including water containers, tarpaulins, generators, chainsaws and tool kits arrived at Nausori airport in the capital city of Suva on Monday.

Australia will also be supplying military helicopters to assist with aerial surveillance, as well as air transport of relief supplies for 1500 families, as part of a $5 million (AUD) assistance package.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has agreed to assist with the rollout of child friendly spaces in evacuation centres.

“In the immediate aftermath of a disaster such as a cyclone, UNICEF’s first priority is to ensure the protection and wellbeing of the most vulnerable, including children, pregnant women and new mothers,” said UNICEF Pacific Deputy Representative Isabelle Austin.

She also said that agency is working around the clock preparing supplies for transport and distribution through the Government of Fiji, which is providing extremely strong leadership on this response.

Children, families and communities across Fiji will require extensive support to meet growing and urgent needs around water, sanitation and hygiene, including the provision of water containers, purification tablets, soap and temporary sanitation facilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has received a request for 36 000 water purifying tablets, while the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and UNICEF have been asked to co-lead the national safety and protection cluster.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across the country on 20-21 February.

Almost 14,000 people are sheltering in 274 evacuation centres around Fiji. At least 364 dwellings have been destroyed, and 65 schools have been damaged or destroyed. Schools have been closed for the week and the Government has indicated that restoring education is its top priority for the response over the coming days.

The Government has declared a 30-day “state of natural disaster,” and launched an appeal for public donations to assist victims of the cyclone.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53297

Back to Top

Fiji: UN and Government assess needs in wake of ‘catastrophic’ Cyclone Winston

22 February 2016 – The United Nations has begun its assessment of the needs for international assistance to the islands of Fiji, hit by a powerful tropical cyclone that left at least 21 people dead and more than 8,000 people sheltering in evacuation centres over the weekend.

Responding to the Government of Fiji’s official request for international aid, the UN and its Pacific Humanitarian Team are reaching out to the authorities to determine what expertise and support they need, including in coordination of humanitarian assistance, said Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator in Fiji.

“The images emerging from early aerial assessments of affected areas are truly heartbreaking, leaving little doubt about the ferocity of this cyclone,” Ms. Lubrani said in a press release.

“It is clear from these catastrophic impacts that Fiji is facing a long road to recovery and the United Nations and the entire Pacific Humanitarian Team stands should-to-shoulder with the Government as they begin this enormous task,” she stressed.

On 20 and 21 February, Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across Fiji’s islands, blowing off roofs, bringing down trees and powerlines, and flooding rivers.

More than 8,100 people are currently sheltering in evacuation centres, and 4 people are still missing. Schools are closed for a week to allow for clean-up and their use as evacuation centres. Whole villages have been destroyed on the island of Koro where a relief and assessment ship is being deployed, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The Government is leading the response, and a 30-day state of natural disaster has been declared.

“Government assessments have begun and these will give a clearer picture of where people are most in need. Help is already on its way to the Lomaiviti Group which was in the eye of the cyclone and suffered catastrophic impacts,” Ms. Lubrani said.

The Pacific Humanitarian Team, based in the Fijian capital, Suva, coordinates expert human resources and relief supplies regionally and globally, should the impacts of a disaster exceed a government’s capacity to respond.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said yesterday that it is on stand-by to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel to support the Government as it works to determine critical needs.

At its peak, the Cyclone was forecast by the Fiji Met Service to have sustained winds of 230 kmph, gusting to 325 kmph making it one of the most severe cyclones ever to hit the South Pacific.

Meanwhile, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, today extended his condolences to Fiji on the loss of life from the cyclone while commending the Government for its efforts to reduce mortality and the numbers of people affected by cyclone.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones,” Mr. Glasser said, adding that the death toll could have been significantly higher if the Government, the National Disaster Management Centre and the Meteorological Service had not united in their efforts to disseminate warnings and urge the population to use the 735 evacuation centres opened in advance of the cyclone’s arrival.

A key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in March last year as a global blueprint for reducing disaster risk and disaster losses is to ensure that fewer people lose their lives or get injured in these types of events which are becoming more intense as a result of climate change, he said.

According to the Office, there were 90 major storms recorded last year with a reported death toll of 996, significantly down on the ten year average of 17,778.

Also extending heartfelt condolences, President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, praised the people and Government of Fiji for their fortitude and resilience and assured them of the support of the international community, as they begin the process of recovering from this devastating storm.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53288

Back to Top

Fiji: UNICEF on stand-by with supplies and personnel in wake of Cyclone Winston

21 February 2016 – In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston that struck the island nation of Fiji Saturday night, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it is on stand-by to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel to support the Government as it works to determine critical needs.

In a statement released today, UNICEF noted that its main concern is for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers across Fiji.

“Little is yet known about the status of communities living on the outer islands of Fiji that were directly under the eye of Tropical Cyclone Winston, as communications remain down for many,” the agency said.

According to UNICEF, the Government of Fiji is rapidly working to assess the overall situation in order to pinpoint the critical needs. The Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere.

Alice Clements, a Communications Specialist with UNICEF Pacific, said from her base in the capital city of Suva that “the amount of destruction to infrastructure, livelihoods and homes that something like this can do is just immense. It can also completely destroy or severely damage school facilities and health facilities.”

Noting that UNICEF staff members are standing by to assist as required, Ms. Clements stressed that “if we are talking about a worst-case scenario, in addition to injuries and loss of life, you have a situation where people’s entire lives, top to bottom, have been turned upside down.”

In a separate statement yesterday, Ms. Clements said she felt the impact of the storm in Suva, with “destructive, howling winds and the sound of rivets lifting from roofs a constant throughout the night.”

“It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone. Families may have lost their homes and crops therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood,” she added.

UNICEF, a member of the Pacific Humanitarian Team, said it has pre-positioned supplies in Suva and Nadi, including water kits, health kits and education materials such as school tents.

The agency said it will actively support the Government of Fiji, if called on to assist, in leading clusters of agencies working in water and sanitation, education and nutrition, and in child protection.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53283

Back to Top

&#39Our task is not over,&#39 says Ban, urging action on Paris climate pledges ahead of signing ceremony

17 February 2016 – While the international community has provided a solid foundation for the world’s response to climate change by adopting the Paris Agreement this past December, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that it is now necessary to build on that momentum in order to secure a safer and healthier future for all.

At a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on the high-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement, which he will host on 22 April, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ceremony will provide the first opportunity for Governments to advance the process that will lead to the Agreement’s implementation and ratification.

“Now we must move from aspirations to action,” Mr. Ban said. “By implementing the Paris Agreement, we will be building the future we want – a future of shared opportunity that leaves no-one behind on a planet that is protected and nurtured for the benefit of all,” he added.

Urging the participation of all Governments at the signing ceremony, the UN chief emphasized the importance of the Agreement entering into force as soon as possible.

“The world now has a universal, fair, flexible and durable climate agreement,” Mr. Ban said.

“For the first time, every country in the world pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause for the common good,” he added.

In particular, the Agreement will enable the international community to “increase ambition on a regular basis,” the Secretary-General said, which is essential in order to keep global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

“Our task is not over. In fact, it has just begun,” Mr. Ban said. “In 2016, we must go from words to deeds. The 22 April signature ceremony is an essential step,” he noted.

Emphasizing that “the cost of inaction becomes clearer every day,” Mr. Ban stressed that more extreme weather events, torrential rains and flooding, severe droughts and rising sea levels were leading to lost lives, homes, productivity and hope.

“We have no time to delay,” the Secretary-General underscored. “I urge you to ensure that the legal requirements for your leaders to have full powers to sign are in place by that date,” he said.

Mr. Ban noted that leaders from Peru, France and Morocco – the Presidents of recent UN climate change meetings, known as COP20, COP21 and the upcoming COP22 – have agreed to attend the signature ceremony, and that many other world leaders have promised their attendance as well.

“The participation of Heads of State and Government will show the world they are determined to move forward as quickly as possible,” Mr. Ban said. “It will keep the global spotlight firmly focused on climate change and build on the strong political momentum created in Paris.”

Mr. Ban added that all leaders will have the opportunity to make a national statement on the day of the ceremony. As such, he asked that leaders come ready to provide an update on how their Government will implement national climate plans and integrate them into their overall sustainable development plans, as well as provide a roadmap for increasing ambition over time to achieve the overall aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.

He also asked leaders to be ready to indicate their Government’s timetable for ratifying the Paris Agreement, and to share how they are accelerating climate action before 2020 by drawing on the ingenuity, resources and efforts of all sectors of society.

“We need all hands on deck to meet the climate challenge,” Mr. Ban stressed. “Cities, schools, the business and investment communities, faith groups – all have a role to play.”

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53256

Back to Top

El Niño passed peak, but UN weather agency warns ‘not to lower guard’ as impacts continue

18 February 2016 – The 2015-2016 El Niño, one of the strongest on record, has passed its peak, but its humanitarian and economic impacts will continue for many months to come, the United Nations weather agency has announced, adding that lessons learned from this climate phenomenon would help build global resilience to weather related hazards.

The El Niño is expected to weaken in the coming months and fade away during the second quarter of 2016, according to the latest update from the World Meteorological Organization.

“In meteorological terms, this El Niño is now in decline, but we cannot lower our guard as it is still quite strong and in humanitarian and economic terms, its impacts will continue for many months to come,” said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.

“We have just witnessed one of the most powerful ever El Niño events which caused extreme weather in countries on all continents and helped fuel record global heat in 2015,” Mr. Taalas said, highlighting the droughts and excess rainfall it has caused in different parts of the world.

Parts of South America and East Africa are still recovering from torrential rains and flooding. The economic and human toll from drought is becoming increasingly apparent in southern and the Horn of Africa, Central America and a number of other regions, he said.

Eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures were more than 2 degrees Celsius above average in late 2015, providing evidence that the 2015-16 El Niño was comparable with the devastating 1997-98 and 1982-83 events. However, “it is too early to establish conclusively whether it was the strongest,” he said.

The world is better prepared for this event than ever before, and scientific research conducted during this event will enhance understanding of El Niño and the inter-linkages between this phenomenon and human-induced climate change, he said.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is the result of the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific. It has an irregular recurrence period of between two and seven years. Typically, El Niño peaks late in the calendar year, hence its name (Spanish for Christ Child).

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53266

Back to Top

‘Our task is not over,’ says Ban, urging action on Paris climate pledges ahead of signing ceremony

17 February 2016 – While the international community has provided a solid foundation for the world’s response to climate change by adopting the Paris Agreement this past December, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that it is now necessary to build on that momentum in order to secure a safer and healthier future for all.

At a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on the high-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement, which he will host on 22 April, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ceremony will provide the first opportunity for Governments to advance the process that will lead to the Agreement’s implementation and ratification.

“Now we must move from aspirations to action,” Mr. Ban said. “By implementing the Paris Agreement, we will be building the future we want – a future of shared opportunity that leaves no-one behind on a planet that is protected and nurtured for the benefit of all,” he added.

Urging the participation of all Governments at the signing ceremony, the UN chief emphasized the importance of the Agreement entering into force as soon as possible.

“The world now has a universal, fair, flexible and durable climate agreement,” Mr. Ban said.

“For the first time, every country in the world pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause for the common good,” he added.

In particular, the Agreement will enable the international community to “increase ambition on a regular basis,” the Secretary-General said, which is essential in order to keep global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

“Our task is not over. In fact, it has just begun,” Mr. Ban said. “In 2016, we must go from words to deeds. The 22 April signature ceremony is an essential step,” he noted.

Emphasizing that “the cost of inaction becomes clearer every day,” Mr. Ban stressed that more extreme weather events, torrential rains and flooding, severe droughts and rising sea levels were leading to lost lives, homes, productivity and hope.

“We have no time to delay,” the Secretary-General underscored. “I urge you to ensure that the legal requirements for your leaders to have full powers to sign are in place by that date,” he said.

Mr. Ban noted that leaders from Peru, France and Morocco – the Presidents of recent UN climate change meetings, known as COP20, COP21 and the upcoming COP22 – have agreed to attend the signature ceremony, and that many other world leaders have promised their attendance as well.

“The participation of Heads of State and Government will show the world they are determined to move forward as quickly as possible,” Mr. Ban said. “It will keep the global spotlight firmly focused on climate change and build on the strong political momentum created in Paris.”

Mr. Ban added that all leaders will have the opportunity to make a national statement on the day of the ceremony. As such, he asked that leaders come ready to provide an update on how their Government will implement national climate plans and integrate them into their overall sustainable development plans, as well as provide a roadmap for increasing ambition over time to achieve the overall aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.

He also asked leaders to be ready to indicate their Government’s timetable for ratifying the Paris Agreement, and to share how they are accelerating climate action before 2020 by drawing on the ingenuity, resources and efforts of all sectors of society.

“We need all hands on deck to meet the climate challenge,” Mr. Ban stressed. “Cities, schools, the business and investment communities, faith groups – all have a role to play.”

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53256

Back to Top

New UN report reveals devastating human toll of disasters in &#39hottest year on record&#39

11 February 2016 – A new analysis issued today by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) shows that 2015 – the hottest year on record – confirmed that weather and climate-related disasters now dominate disaster trends linked to natural hazards.

The analysis found that 98.6 million people were affected by disasters in 2015, and that climate – often aided by a strong El Niño phenomenon – was a factor in 92 per cent of those events. The disasters having the greatest impact were the 32 major droughts recorded throughout the year, which amounted to more than double the 10-year annual average and affected 50.5 million people.

“The main message from this trends analysis is that reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to climate change is vital for countries seeking to reduce disaster risk now and in the future, said Robert Glasser, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR, in a press statement.

The analysis also found that the five countries hit by the highest number of disasters in 2015 are China, with 26 disasters; USA, with 22; India, with 19; Philippines, with 15; and Indonesia, with 11.

UNISDR noted that following droughts, floods had the second-greatest impact in 2015, with 152 floods affecting 27.5 million people and claiming 3,310 lives. This compares with the 10-year average of 5,938 deaths and 85.1 million people affected.

In addition, Asia and the Pacific in particular bore the brunt of the 90 storms reported this past year, which included 48 cyclone-strength storms, attributable to rising sea levels and sea surface temperatures. Globally, storms resulted in 996 deaths and affected 10.6 million people in 2015, compared with a 10-year average of 17,778 deaths and 34.9 million people affected.

“National disaster management agencies in Asia are doing good work in reducing death tolls from storms through early warnings and timely evacuations, especially in the Philippines, China, Japan and the small island states of the Pacific,” Mr. Glasser noted.

According to preliminary data from the Belgian-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), which also compiled the analysis, the death toll from 346 major reported disasters this past year was 22,773 – including 8,831 deaths from the Nepal earthquake.

Noting that the overall disaster mortality for 2015 was down on the 10-year average of 76,424 deaths, CRED Director Debarati Guha-Sapir emphasized that early warnings are having an impact in the case of storms.

“Further investment in this area is warranted by these numbers,” she said.

Ms. Guha-Sapir also noted that extreme temperatures – mostly heatwaves – were severe in 2015, leading to the hottest year on record and contributing to a combined total of 7,346 deaths that affected 1.2 million people, particularly in France, India and Pakistan. This compares with the 10-year average of 7,232 deaths and 8.7 million affected.

“Mortality from extreme temperatures are very under-estimated and need better evaluation of their impact,” she stressed.

Other statistics from the analysis for 2015 include: earthquakes and tsunamis killed 9,525 people (including Nepal) and affected 7.2 million; landslides, triggered by heavy rains, killed 1,369 people and affected 50,332; and wildfires took 66 lives and affected almost 495,000 people.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53208

Back to Top

Climate outlook ‘particularly concerning’ in southern Africa due to El Niño

10 February 2016 – El Niño conditions have caused the lowest recorded rainfall between October and December across many regions of Southern Africa in at least 35 years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has reported in its latest report.

The agency found that short-term forecasts from January to March indicate the high probability of continuing below-normal rainfall in the south, signaling that this could become one of the worst droughts on record.

“The current growing season, which spans from October 2015 to April 2016, is developing under the peak of the El Niño, with the first phase of the growing season characterized by severe and widespread rainfall deficits,” the situation report highlights.

“El Niño’s impact on rain-fed agriculture is severe. Poor rainfall, combined with excessive temperatures, create conditions not conducive for crop growth,” it adds.

Although El Niño’s impact on people’s livelihood reportedly varies according to preparedness and response capacities, rain-dependent small holder farmers—comprising at least 50 per cent of the population in Southern Africa—are the hardest hit.

In Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, WFP is highlighting that delayed planting of up to two months or more, severely impacts maize yields. “As the window for planting closes, even good rainfall offers limited scope for recovery,” it warned.

In conclusion, the UN food agency underscored that the climate outlook is particularly concerning as it is coming on top of a poor harvest in 2014 and 2015.

“Poor regional cereal harvests from the 2014-2015 season have tightened cereal supplies. On average, harvests were 21 per cent lower than the 2013-2014 season and 3 per cent lower than the five-year average. In total, the cereal deficit for the region is 7.9 million tonnes for the 2015/2016 marketing year,” WFP noted.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53199

Back to Top

Ban welcomes proposal for first binding limits on airlines&#39 carbon emissions

9 February 2016 – Welcoming a proposal by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the first binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions from the aviation industry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called today for further strengthening of emissions standards as quickly as possible.

A statement attributable to the UN chief’s spokesperson said the proposed rules, which would limit carbon emissions and strengthen the efficiency of all new commercial and business airliners after 2028, build on the strong momentum coming from the Paris Agreement and represent the latest in a series of successful multilateral efforts to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change.

“Carbon emissions from aviation are growing rapidly, with the number of flights worldwide expected to double in the next 15 years. The ICAO’s new rules come after years of negotiations and are the first time that governments have set emissions standards for the aviation industry,” the statement said.

For its part, ICAO said in a press release yesterday that the “eagerly awaited” aircraft carbon dioxide emissions standard was unanimously recommended by the 170 international experts on its Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, paving the way for its ultimate adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council.

Under the recommendation, the new standard would be applicable to new aircraft type designs as of 2020, as well as to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from 2023. A cut-off date of 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with the standard was also recommended.

In its current form, the standard acknowledges carbon dioxide reductions arising from a range of possible technology innovations, whether structural, aerodynamic or propulsion-based.

ICAO said the proposed global standard is particularly stringent for larger aircraft, since operations of aircraft weighing more than 60 tons account for more than 90 per cent of international aviation emissions. The proposed standard, however, covers the full range of sizes and types of aircraft used in international aviation today.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council.

The Montreal-based agency works with 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international standards, practices and policies for the civil aviation sector.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53197

Back to Top

Corporate Office: 364 Summit Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Phone: 201-489-0419 | Fax: 201-488-2025

For Product & Project Inquiries: Guy Condorelli, VP Business Development
Phone: 201-489-0419 Ext. 2