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ICAO reaches historic agreement to limit aviation emissions

Government, industry and civil society representatives have agreed a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to control CO₂ emissions from international aviation.

The historic move came as the Plenary Session of the UN aviation agency’s 39th Assembly agreed to recommend the adoption of a final resolution text for the GMBM. 

ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is designed to complement the basket of mitigation measures the air transport community is already pursuing to reduce CO₂ emissions from international aviation. These include technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation.

Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the ICAO council, said, “It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our member states, industry and civil society. We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of states who will voluntarily participate in the GMBM – and from its outset. This will permit the CORSIA to serve as a positive and sustainable contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”

Implementation of the CORSIA will begin with a pilot phase from 2021 through 2023, followed by a first phase from 2024 through 2026. Participation in both of these early stages will be voluntary and the next phase from 2027 to 2035 would see all states on board. Some exemptions were accepted for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and states with very low levels of international aviation activity.

“I would like to thank all those who have been part of this process”, said Dr Fang Liu, secretary general of ICAO. “This resolution is the reflection of the spirit of cooperation and tremendous efforts. The ICAO GMBM endorsed today is an important addition to the basket of measures aviation is pursuing to address CO₂ emissions.”

October 7, 2016


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