ICAO's current environmental activities are largely undertaken through the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which was established by the Council in 1983, superseding the Committee on Aircraft Noise (CAN) and the Committee on Aircraft Engine Emissions (CAEE).
CAEP is composed of Members and Observers.
CAEP assists the Council in formulating new policies and adopting new Standards on aircraft noise and aircraft engine emissions. CAEP's Terms of Reference and Work Programme (PDF) are established by the Council.
The current structure of the Committee includes three working groups and four support groups. The working groups deal with the technical and operational aspects of noise reduction and mitigation, with the aircraft noise and emissions issues linked to airports and operations and with the technical and operational aspects of aircraft emissions. One support group provides information on the economic costs and environmental benefits of the noise and emissions options considered by CAEP, one addresses models and databases issues, one deals specifically with the ICAO Carbon Calculator and the last one is aimed at scientific understanding of aviation environmental impacts.
About once a year, CAEP meets as a Steering Group to review and provide guidance on the progress of the activities of the working groups. So far, CAEP has held eight formal meetings: in 1986 (CAEP/1), 1991 (CAEP/2), 1995 (CAEP/3), 1998 (CAEP/4,) 2001 (CAEP/5), 2004 (CAEP/6), 2007 (CAEP/7) and 2010 (CAEP/8). Each formal CAEP meeting produces a report with specific recommendations for the consideration of the ICAO Council. These reports are saleable Publications.
The Council acts on recommendations from CAEP in the light of any comments received from the Air Navigation Commission and, if there are economic aspects, from the Air Transport Committee. In the case of recommendations to introduce or amend Standards and Recommended Practices, there are established procedures for consulting States, after which the final decision rests with the Council.
The Assembly, which meets every 3 years, considers major policy issues in the environmental field that are brought to its attention by the Council or States. Assembly action usually consists of endorsing material on which the development work has already been done. For example, on the basis of proposals from the Council, the Assembly reviews the Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies and practices related to environmental protection (the latest version is Resolution A37-18 (PDF)).