UN agreement reached on aircraft climate-change emissions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Nations’ aviation arm has ratified an agreement to control global warming emissions from international airline flights.

It is the first climate-change pact to set limits on a single, global industry.

The agreement, adopted Thursday at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s assembly meeting in Montreal, sets airlines’ carbon emissions in the year 2020 as the upper limit of what carriers are allowed to discharge without penalty.

Airlines that exceed that limit in future years, as most are expected to do, will have to offset their emissions growth by buying carbon credits from other industries.

Environmentalists complained the agreement was weakened by a last minute change that removed language that would have aligned its aims with that of a landmark climate-change accord reached in Paris last December.