Montreal - The cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) today urged governments to support a package of standards which are currently under consultation as the sector prepares to implement the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the world’s first global market-based measure for any industrial sector.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed a set of technical requirements needed for the scheme to be implemented. These ‘standards and recommended practices’ (known as SARPs) consist of the technical rules for the implementation of the scheme. As part of CORSIA, States, airlines and other aircraft operators are required to start monitoring emissions from all international flights from 1 January next year. The SARPs are currently being reviewed by ICAO Member States as part of a regular consultation before ICAO’s international standards are adopted by its Council.

ATAG Executive Director, Michael Gill, comments: “Governments meeting at ICAO took the bold step to agree to CORSIA as part of the package of climate action across the international aviation sector. We support that process as the right way forward for our global industry. We are encouraged that 73 States have now shown climate leadership and signed up for the voluntary phases of the scheme – we encourage more to join as well.

“The aviation sector is hard at work to ensure that aircraft operators are ready to implement CORSIA in 2019. We are currently undertaking a significant education and outreach process for airlines and business aviation operators through detailed workshops taking place all over the world. However, we also need the technical rules of the scheme – particularly the standards and recommended practices for the monitoring and reporting of emissions – to be formally approved by ICAO. We strongly urge all States to support the SARPs in full and without amendments during the current consultation.

“Aircraft operators need time to put in place the systems required to monitor their emissions. Governments need time to prepare for their role as well. The current CORSIA Package provides all the necessary actions to achieve this before January 2019, but adoption of the package in the middle of this year is vital. A number of additional elements, such as the eligibility of offset units, must be decided as we approach the 2021 official start date for the scheme.

“We also urge the ICAO Council to adopt a comprehensive set of sustainability criteria for sustainable aviation fuels. ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection must continue its work to complement the core requirements that have already been adopted: sustainable aviation fuels should deliver at least 10% in greenhouse gas savings; and that they do not derive from biomass obtained from land with high carbon stock. These new fuels are an important part of our long-term emissions reduction plan for aviation and the sustainability of the fuel is of paramount importance for the sector.”