Developing the global market-based measure at ICAO

Environmental Economic measures

We have written about it before on this blog and it forms a big part of our current work on climate change: the development of a global market-based measure for aviation emissions. Although the first three "pillars" of climate action in our strategy are the most important part of our industry efforts, for the last three years governments, industry and civil society have been working on the forth pillar - the development of the global market-based measure to deal with the remaining emissions to meet our carbon-neutral growth objective from 2020.

Countdown to the ICAO Assembly

This year, a lot of that work comes to a conclusion and the industry is eager to see an agreement on the development of a global market-based measure at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at its next major gathering in September. So, in this blog, we'll be spending some time looking at the development of this agreement.

First off, some of the basics:

A market-based measure will help aviation deal with any CO2 emissions that cannot be reduced through action such as introducing new technology, better operations and improved infrastructure. Any remaining CO2 emissions can be offset by helping to fund CO2-reduction projects in other sectors, particularly in developing nations. We have produced this simple infographic to show how this would work.

Whilst there are different options for a market-based measure, we have been advocating a global mandatory offsetting scheme. This is simple to implement (it can be ready in time for the 2020 start date) and will also directly fund climate projects and reduce CO2 emissions.

For the last three years, there has been intensive work underway at ICAO to develop this global offsetting scheme. These talks have taken place at both a political level and a technical level. The negotiations are challenging, partially because of the political nature of trying to bring in a global agreement between 191 countries, but also because this is the first time any sector has attempted a global scheme such as this. Throughout, the aviation industry has been helping governments understand the importance of such an agreement.

We will report back over the next six months with some details of how the scheme might work and also what is happening at ICAO to get us to agreement. Check back in with us and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at and we'll try and answer them on this blog.