EUROCONTROL applauds the adoption of CORSIA

19 October 2016

The international aviation community has been working on a scheme to balance growth with the need to address CO2 emissions for many years, aiming at carbon neutral growth by 2020 as a mid-term ambition and halving 2005’s carbon emissions by 2050 as the long-term goal.

Aviation’s framework to achieve these aims consists of a basket of four mitigation measures, namely new technology - together with scaling up the use of sustainable alternative fuels -, better operational practices, improved infrastructure, including air traffic management, and market-based measures. Agreement has now been obtained on introducing the Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) to cover emissions from international flights. The “CORSIA” is ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, and was formally adopted at the 39th Assembly.

Hailed as an historic occasion by political and industry leaders, the adoption of this scheme means that over 80% of the total growth in international aviation CO2 emissions after 2020 will be covered. 66 states – which make up 85% of the world’s air traffic – have volunteered to be included in CORSIA from the beginning.

An important feature of the GMBM will be the support provided by developed countries to build the capabilities within developing countries to comply with the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) processes necessary to ensure that CO2 emissions are being correctly reported. This is known as “capacity building” and is also a key feature of the Paris Agreement.  

As part of our support for the European Commission - DGs MOVE and CLIMATE ACTION - EUROCONTROL was able to contribute to the preparation of the GMBM in helping to develop the technical material that sets out how the MRV processes can work.

Having worked with the European Commission on the aviation element of the EU’s ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) for over ten years and having delivered more than 1,000 reports on annual air traffic and emissions data to aircraft operators, we have amassed considerable GMBM expertise at EUROCONTROL. Indeed, 25 States that use our ETS Support Facility to help administer their national obligations have recently renewed the ETS Agreement with EUROCONTROL until the end of 2021. We were, therefore, in a position to help the global community develop technical material and to give them the confidence that the GMBM can work.

We were, thanks to our connection with the European Commission, able to provide expert input to the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP); we also modelled a variety of potential implementation scenarios with a group of global experts.

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to have worked with the European Commission, European States and industry in this sphere. We stand ready to support European and ICAO initiatives to provide GMBM capacity building support to other regions.

For more information on what EUROCONTROL does to help minimise aviation’s impact on the environment, watch the video below, or visit our Environment website.

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