Planes on the ground

UN approves plan to delay carbon offsetting of flights

Aircraft have been grounded during the coronavirus pandemic

DARREN DARREN ENGLAND/AAP/PA Images/AAP/PA Images

A landmark deal curbing the impact of aviation on climate change was watered down at a United Nations (UN) meeting on Tuesday, meaning airlines likely will not have to start offsetting their growing carbon emissions for several years later than planned.

Four years ago, 191 countries agreed for the first time to tackle aviation’s fast-growing carbon footprint by making the industry pay for tree planting and other schemes to offset its growth in emissions between 2020 and 2035.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and airlines, concerned …