Countdown is on for aviation climate scheme

Environmental Economic measures

Geneva - Aviation executives meeting at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva today were told that the countdown had begun for airlines and governments to prepare for the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA), which was agreed by governments meeting at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 12 months ago.

The CORSIA is designed to offset the growth in carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation after 2020. The first six years of the scheme, negotiated by governments and supported by the industry, will be voluntary for States to join. In later years, it will be mandatory for all but the smallest aviation markets.

Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Executive Director, Michael Gill, reminded delegates that the race is on to implement the agreement: “Airlines included in CORSIA will need to offset their emissions from 1 January 2021, but the scheme comes into effect before then, with compliance needing to begin as early as one year from now.

“Not enough airlines and governments are aware that there are two parts of the CORSIA: the monitoring of emissions; and the offsetting. All airlines that fly international routes will need to start monitoring and reporting their fuel use to governments from 2019, with very few exceptions. This applies whether their government has signed up to volunteer for the CORSIA or not.”

To raise awareness of the need to prepare for the incoming scheme, ATAG is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and regional associations. The Countdown to CORSIA campaign will hold workshops and prepare training toolkits for airlines and other aircraft operators that will need to comply. A series of regional workshops for airlines and aircraft operators will take place in January and February 2018, organised by ATAG, IATA and IBAC. These events are scheduled for Shanghai, Amman, Johannesburg, Miami, Singapore, Accra, Buenos Aires and Geneva. Further information is available on the website, where operators are urged to register for updates.

At the same time, Gill had a message to governments: “We are very pleased to see 72 States now volunteering to join CORSIA from the beginning. This means over 80% of the growth in aviation CO2 after 2020 will be offset. It is especially heartening to see small island states and least developed countries showing both climate and aviation leadership by signing up. These are states which would likely have been exempt from the scheme entirely.

“We repeat our call to all other governments to volunteer - let’s try and get as many of the 191 ICAO member states on board as possible. It is a vital part of the international community’s commitment to climate action and will make the CORSIA even more effective.”