More efficient airplanes and new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from airplanes are available. But the airline industry and the U.S. State Department have been blocking international proposals to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from aviation as the climate crisis continues to worsen.
Last year the industry even got Congress to pass legislation which would allow U.S. airlines to ignore the European Union's new rules to reduce aviation emissions. The result: The EU program was suspended for one year to allow for an international body to put together an agreement to reduce global emissions from the sector.
Now we need to make sure our new secretary of state hears from us: The aviation sector should not be exempted from reducing their emissions. We need a binding international agreement to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution from aviation now.
We believe you are committed to tackling the ever-more urgent challenge of climate change. As our new secretary of state, you have an immediate opportunity to do so by securing an international agreement that significantly cuts aviation's global warming pollution. We can achieve standards that are global, meaningful, and cover all airline carbon emissions.
As a substantial contributor to climate change, the aviation industry -- both domestic and international -- must finally take responsibility for its part in causing carbon pollution and global warming.
The technology and materials that will allow us to become more energy efficient are already available, and we can immediately decrease emissions by putting available engine technologies and lightweight composite materials to use.
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The time is now, Secretary Kerry, to fulfill your promise to combat climate change. Standards on aviation emissions, regardless of who enacts them, are long overdue, possible to achieve, and will put us one step closer to a safer climate.
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