In December 2015, the member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came together to agree on a new arrangement to tackle climate change. Following years of little progress, the outcome of COP21, now known as the Paris Agreement, demonstrated real commitment from the international community in their approach to climate change.

The Paris Agreement, which works along a ‘bottom-up’ approach whereby each party submits their own climate action plan, covers the domestic emissions of each country. This includes emissions from domestic aviation services and from stationary facilities such as airports, air traffic management centres, airline head offices and manufacturing sites.

As has become customary at UNFCCC climate negotiations, international aviation was not included in the final agreement, but is left to aviation’s own specialised UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which had been working on its sector-specific pathway for international aviation emissions.

In 2016, states represented at ICAO agreed on the introduction of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, more commonly known as CORSIA . This scheme, which has the full support of industry, will allow aviation to achieve its shared goal of carbon-neutral growth and will complement the aims of the Paris Agreement.

This is alongside a new CO2 Standard for aircraft development and a package of operational, infrastructure and technology measures that can also be deployed at a domestic level in the industry.