[Ref Flight International Magazine 31 Mar – 6 Apr 2020]
Announced on 6 October 2016, ICAO’s CORSIA initiative created a target for the airline industry to achieve carbon-neutral growth in international flights from 2020 onwards. It is due to be implemented in three phases, beginning with the pilot phase (2021-2023), then the first phase (2024-2026). Participation in those first two stages is voluntary. In the third phase (2027-2035), participation is obligatory for states with a significant share of global traffic.
Implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) involves using airlines’ carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions data from 2020, in combination with that from 2019, to create a baseline average on which future offsetting would be based.
The use of two years’ data was meant to ensure unexpected disruption did not skew the figures.
“However, any modelling done today will be out of date in a week. It is very clear that 2020 is a completely abnormal situation,” says the executive director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group, Michael Gill.
Gill’s comments came after ICAO agreed a set of eligible emissions units for the pilot phase of CORSIA on 13 March. They are: the American Carbon Registry; the China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program; the Clean Development Mechanism; Climate Action Reserve; The Gold Standard; and the Verified Carbon Standard.