Benin becomes newest participant in CORSIA emissions offsetting programme


The West African State of Benin has become the newest country to confirm its voluntary participation in the ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

This brings the total number of countries to begin offsetting their international flight emissions to 83 when the CORSIA voluntary pilot phase kicks off in 2021. Together they account for 76.64% of current international scheduled flights.

Benin’s official participation under CORSIA was confirmed in a letter conveyed last Friday from the Director General of its National Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Karl Legba, to ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu.

The positive CORSIA announcement out of Benin comes as COVID-19 restrictions on global mobility continue to reduce air traffic demand.

While the COVID-19 impact on aviation traffic has been substantial, it’s still not clear what the final results will be on 2020 air traffic. ICAO is closely following the COVID-19 impacts now being seen, and the CORSIA design elements already include the possiblity for reviews, safeguards, and, if deemed necesary, adjustments to the scheme.

ICAO’s 36-State Governing Council has already included an agenda item on this subject for its upcoming 220th session, ensuring discussions will take place on possible solutions to assure that the overall integrity and objectives of the CORSIA programme aren’t diminished due to COVID-19 traffic impacts.

As part of its emergency response measures during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, ICAO has been taking various steps to ensure that States continue to be supported in the implementation of the CORSIA offsetting scheme, including through more flexible capacity-building approaches, online training sessions of the CORSIA Central Registry (CCR) in April 2020, and the launching of a series of online CORSIA verification courses from May 2020.