On Thursday, more than 190 countries agreed to adopt measures aimed to lessen the climate impact of international air travel. The buying of more efficient planes is projected as the new measures could force air carriers to improve their fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, although efforts are being made, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is still projected to fall about one-fourth short of their 2020 goal “to offset all of the growth in emissions from air travel”, as reported by Henry Fountain of the New York Times. Still, the programs being set in place are a tremendous step in cleaning up our air as international aviation alone accounts for 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
The Natural Law Theory explains the position that an act is deemed good because a higher deity says it is. From a religious perspective, it can be reasonably argued that God wants a sustainable planet earth and that any act to further such cause can be seen as moral. Furthermore, the theory relays that sustainability and longevity is a goal and that we base our actions around it. By making emissions from planes safer and more environmentally friendly, we are complying to the natural law theory and promoting a sustainable environment so that our life expectancy and time of occupation on this planet is increased for the future.
Similarly, consequentialism also speaks on behalf of these new clean-aviation efforts. Consequentialism generally speaks to the interest of doing as much good as you can. It even goes as far as to explain that “acts are right just in case they yield the greatest improvement in environmental health”. I believe that the steps being taken by the ICAO follow consequentialism because even though they are projected to miss their 2020 target, their efforts strive towards environmental health and uphold the very best interest of our global well-being.