Countdown to Intl. Aviation Emissions Scheme Begins

 - October 5, 2017, 6:55 AM

The countdown has begun for aircraft operators and governments to prepare for the new carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA). That was the key message this week at the Global Aviation Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, to delegates meeting to further define the the program, according to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). Creation of the scheme was agreed by governments meeting at the ICAO General Assembly last October.

CORSIA has been designed to offset the growth in carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation after 2020. The first six years of the scheme will be voluntary for nations to join and then it will be mandatory “for all but the smallest aviation markets.” Michael Gill, ATAG executive director, said at the summit, “[Operators] included in CORSIA will need to offset their emissions from January 1, 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 CORSIA: the monitoring of emissions, and the offsetting,” he warned. “All [operators] 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.”

ATAG is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and regional associations to raise awareness. The “Countdown to CORSIA” campaign will hold workshops and prepare training toolkits for aircraft operators that need to comply. ATAG is organizing regional workshops in January and February 2018 supported by IBAC in Shanghai, Amman, Johannesburg, Miami, Singapore, Accra, Buenos Aires and Geneva.

“We are very pleased to see 72 states now volunteering to join CORSIA from the beginning,” said Gill. “This means over 80 percent of the growth in aviation CO2 after 2020 will be offset. We repeat our call to all other governments to volunteer,” concluded Gill. “Let’s try to get as many of the 191 ICAO member states on board as possible.”

The European Commission recently said it would extend the “stop the clock” provisions for international flights until 2020, so EU-ETS continues to apply only to EU flights and operators at present and not to international operators for their flights in and out of the EU.