Agreement will provide clarity in government and airline preparations for carbon offsetting, but more work still to be done says Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

carbon offsetting

The aviation industry has hailed the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after it delivered a key step in implementing the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

At a meeting in Montreal, Canada, the ICAO Council approved a set of standards and recommended practices—including technical rules on how to measure and report emissions—to ensure that airlines comply with CORSIA.

The ICAO Council is to be commended for their fast progress on this important technical work

Reacting positively to the news, Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), said: “This now allows Governments and industry to make final preparations for implementation before the CO2 emissions monitoring and reporting obligations commence in January 2019. The ICAO Council is to be commended for their fast progress on this important technical work.”

CORSIA has been designed to help offset the growth of international aviation CO2 from 2020, alongside technological improvements, further use of sustainable aviation fuels and infrastructure advances aimed at reducing the sector’s carbon emissions.

From 1 January 2019, all airlines which fly international routes will need to measure and report their CO2 emissions to States and these will form part of a baseline of CO2 emissions for CORSIA. From 2021, airlines need to offset growth in emissions from routes between States that have volunteered to take part in CORSIA.

Gill also pushed ICAO to quickly turn to the additional decisions required to operationalise CORSIA’s carbon offsetting provisions, which are set to take effect in 2021.

The most urgent focus is the need for capacity building to ensure governments are ready to provide their oversight role as aircraft operators prepare to comply with CORSIA

He said that although ATAG was ‘very happy’ with the progress so far, more decisions were needed, including the establishment of the Technical Advisory Board to determine the types of offsets that can be used to comply with CORSIA and an agreement on the full set of sustainability criteria for new aviation fuels.

“The most urgent focus is the need for capacity building to ensure governments are ready to provide their oversight role as aircraft operators prepare to comply with CORSIA,” added Gill. 

“As the industry moves ahead with our preparations, governments around the world will also need to put in place the necessary reporting and oversight processes. We call on the ICAO Secretariat to redouble its ongoing capacity building efforts for their member States and encourage fast progress in this area.”

Top