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CORSIA standards: endorsed by ICAO and hailed by industry

August 20, 2018. AASA news.  The aviation industry has praised the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the approval of a set of standards, recommended practices and technical rules on how to measure and report carbon emissions to ensure airlines comply with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) initiative. The ICAO Council approved the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) at a meeting held in Montreal, Canada in June.

This now allows Governments and industry to make final preparations for implementation before the CO2 emissions monitoring and reporting obligations commence in January 2019. The ICAO Council is to be commended for their fast progress on this important technical work.
Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG)

Following swiftly in the wake of the ICAO endorsement, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), formed in 1981 and endorsed by ICAO in 1989 to represent the international interests of business aviation, announced that ICAO member states are to begin their carbon emissions reporting on January 1, 2019.

The aviation industry is a key contributor to global economic growth and prosperity, facilitating communication, linking markets, and providing employment for millions. However, the industry’s future is dependent on proceeding in a sustainable, environmentally-responsible manner.

In the last decade, and with 2018's global scorching temperature records and fires, awareness of climate change and the harmful effects on the atmosphere of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industries, power plants, vehicles, ocean-going vessels, and aircraft has intensified. According to Business Aviation Guide: To the use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) the aviation industry is a leader in taking steps to improve its efficiency and address its impact on climate change, and to-date, is the only industry to have developed internationally-agreed carbon emission reduction standards for both aircraft and operators.

Annie Petsonk, International Counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), has also hailed the crucial adoption of standards and recommended practices but cautioned that the road ahead remains challenging: “The adoption of the SARPs marks a significant step forward by ICAO in standing up CORSIA. But much work remains to be done before the end of the year to ensure that CORSIA as implemented actually delivers the anticipated environmental benefits. There are potential devils lurking in the details, and the work needs to be completed with close coordination between government representatives in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in ICAO to ensure consistency between the two international agreements and prevent double-dipping with regard to carbon offsets and alternative fuel credits. ICAO must take unprecedented steps to establish technical advisory bodies that have broad participation, are free of conflicts of interest, and operate transparently to ensure that proposed fuels and offsets meet the integrity criteria."

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