Certification standards approved to offset emissions from international aviation

Civil air travel now accounts for a relatively small percentage of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but these emissions are expected to increase in the next 15 years.

The growth of emissions generated by flights between countries was not included by the countries in their contributions determined at national level (NDC) under the Paris Climate Agreement, but are instead addressed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO ), the specialized agency of the United Nations which supervises international aviation.

In 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. A historic decision, which for the first time saw a single industrial sector join a global emissions compensation program.

ICAO has marked a historic milestone by approving the certification standards for the carbon aviation compensation and reduction system for international aviation (CORSIA); another important milestone towards the global implementation of CORSIA in support of global efforts against climate change.

These are the 6 standards approved by the Technical Advisory Body's (TAB) Emission Unit Criteria (EUC):

  1. American Carbon Registry
  2. China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program
  3. Clean Development Mechanism
  4. Climate Action Reserve
  5. The Gold Standard
  6. Verified Carbon Standard

The standards identified by ICAO for CORSIA are valid for the activities started from 1 January 2016 and for the emission reductions that occur up to 31 December 2020.

ICAO cannot impose rules but sets standards approved by its 193 member countries. Its 36-member board was tasked with assessing which programs would be eligible under the airline company known as Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

"With approval from the Council, ICAO now has everything in place to implement CORSIA," said Jane Hupe, deputy director of ICAO for the environment. "We have come a long way in a short time and continue to encourage greater commitment by our Member States towards climate action and a sustainable transition and net-zero emissions."

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Certification standards approved to offset emissions from international aviation