A landmark agreement to control CO2 emissions from international aviation has been reached by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) at their 39th Assembly in October 2016.
The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is part of a basket of measures that the air transport industry will implement to cut CO2 emissions. 191 countries agreed to ICAO’s global market-based measure (GMBM) to control CO2 emissions from flying.
This is the first industry wide global offsetting scheme. The new system will be voluntary between 2021 and 2026 and then compulsory from 2027 for most countries, though most states will voluntarily participate in the GMBM from the outset.
ICAO’s announcement is significant because the Paris Agreement agreed in 2015 did not cover aviation and sends a message that aviation will play its part in combating climate change.
Carbon credits from environmental projects will need to be bought in order to offset any increase in emissions from a 2020 baseline.