Developing a global offsetting scheme



The aviation sector is developing the world’s first global market mechanism – in the form of a scheme which will offset the growth in international aviation CO2 after 2020.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, bringing together governments, industry and environmental groups, has been working for the past three years to design the system, expected to be agreed at the ICAO Assembly in September / October 2016.

Read below for more information about this scheme.



Negotiators have been working at a political level to deal with some of the big questions that need to be resolved (such as how you ensure countries are treated fairly), whilst other colleagues have been looking at technical aspects (such as reporting requirements and what kinds of offsets can be used).

These discussions will come to a conclusion at the ICAO Assembly in September / October 2016. If all goes well, the design of a caron offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (called the CORSIA) should be agreed at that meeting.

This should provide enough time for the implementation of the scheme (and resolution of any remaining design issues) so that it can start operating from 2020.


The aviation industry has been pushing for governments to agree on this global scheme for the last six years. It is a key part of our climate action, which also includes new technology (and sustainable alternative fuels), better operations and improved infrastructure.

You can read an open letter aviation industry leaders sent to government negotiators, urging them to develop the scheme. Our Position Paper for ICAO Assembly 39 is also available.

As part of the negotiations, governments have decided to make the first part of the scheme voluntary for States. You can read how industry views the CORSIA here. We are now encouraging all countries to volunteer to be part of the scheme, from as early as possible. A number already have, which is great to see: we will be keeping note of them here.

This will ensure the scheme is environmentally effective and show great climate leadership, particularly by developing nations.

But the CORSIA is not the only thing aviation must do on climate change. We have already achieved so much (did you know a flight you take today will produce around half the CO2 than the same flight in 1990?) and colleagues across the industry are working on ways to reduce fuel use and emissions. Just check out our Aviation Climate Solutions report for 101 case studies of climate action already underway.

The CORSIA will help us to meet our climate obligations in the mid-term, whilst also allowing aviation to continue to grow and provide jobs and economic benefits through improved connectivity.


We have been speaking to some of today’s young aviation professionals from across the sector about their motivations for doing business with an eye to sustainability.

Hear from Ollie, Jodi, Robbie, Monica and all their colleagues have to say about their sustainability point of view.

Their message to the delegates at the 39th ICAO Assembly is that climate change is not a problem we can wait to solve. They urge governments to take an historic step forward this year. One which will help ensure that our industry can help connect the world, sustainably, for years to come.

Our sustainable future starts now.