ICAO and Google to collaborate on improving methodology for calculating flight carbon emissions

Montréal, 7 December 2023 – ICAO and Google have announced a new collaboration focused on sharing expertise around methodologies for calculating carbon emissions and the broader decarbonization of the aviation industry. 

Under the scope of the new agreement, the two organizations will work together to identify opportunities for collaboration and improvement on the respective methodologies. This will empower the general public, industry stakeholders, and regulators to make informed, environmentally sustainable and science-based choices related to air transport.

“Currently, a wide range of independently produced aviation carbon calculators provide very diverse emissions estimate results for a given aircraft and flight,” emphasized 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.”

ICAO and Google each offer emission assessment tools.

The ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator is the only calculator of its type to be approved by aviation regulators, and is presently used extensively by consumers, business, governments, international organizations, non-profit organizations, and UN system organizations. 

Google’s Travel Impact Model is a publicly accessible methodology for estimating flight emissions at the individual passenger level. Today, the Travel Impact Model helps people choose lower emitting flights by providing the carbon emission estimates on Google Flights and other online travel platforms, through Google’s collaboration with Travalyst.

“We want to help everyone make more sustainable choices when they travel,” said Sebnem Erzan, Head of Travel Sustainability & Transport Partnerships, Google. “Together with ICAO, we can continue to improve the Travel Impact Model for flight emissions and increase transparency for travelers around the world.”

“We’re very confident that ICAO and Google’s collaboration will provide greater integrity and consistency in reported greenhouse gasses inventories, and more accurate carbon footprint estimations.”

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About ICAO
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency which helps 193 countries to cooperate together and share their skies to their mutual benefit. 

Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination has helped countries to diplomatically and technically realize a uniquely rapid and dependable network of global air mobility, connecting families, cultures, and businesses all over the world, and promoting sustainable growth and socio-economic prosperity wherever aircraft fly.

As it enters a new era of digitization, and of incredible new flight and propulsion innovations, air transport is relying more than ever on ICAO’s expert support and technical and diplomatic guidance to help chart a new and exciting future for international flight. ICAO is innovating itself to answer this call, and expanding its partnerships among UN and technical stakeholders to deliver a strategic global vision and effective, sustainable solutions.

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