Aviation Industry talks amid COVID-19 Crisis: sustainable long-term planning as the UN’s ICAO updates CORSIA – 13th March

Last Friday, 13th March, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved the eligible emission units for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

This recent CORSIA update has opened up acceptance to further carbon offsetting schemes initially in a 2021-2023 pilot phase and has excluded old credits that are unlikely to bring real emissions reduction benefits to the industry. The named schemes include:

• American Carbon Registry 

• China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program 

• Clean Development Mechanism 

• Climate Action Reserve 

• The Gold Standard 

• Verified Carbon Standard 

“At a time of extreme stress for the industry, aviation has stood by its commitment to grapple with the climate crisis even as it deals with the immediate tragedy of COVID-19. That is a demonstration of real leadership,” said the Environmental Defence Fund’s Annie Petsonk.

FGA believes this to be a positive move for the aviation sector and an important milestone which upholds environmental commitments at a difficult time. It will make funds available from outside of the industry which will make it more accessible for corporations and travellers to offset through sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This is crucial in the bid to reach the Paris Agreement on time.

The move will stimulate investment in the coming years by demonstrating that there are mechanisms to support paying the premium of SAF, and in a letter to the Commission and EU Transport Ministers this week, it was clear that long term planning was still very much in mind “Preserving airports’ economic and financial resilience so as to allow airports to return to normal operations as soon as possible and support the recovery of the wider economy. Airports act as engine of local and regional economic growth and employment. Many of them are indeed the largest employment site in their region and/or country. This means that their own standing and capabilities directly support that of their communities. In this regards, it is essential for them to preserve their long-term strategic investment – including those relating to decarbonization efforts.” Airports Council International.

As it stands SAF is 3 times as expensive and although touted as one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions in the industry, it is still unaffordable by the industry and not invested in heavily.

At this time and during the recovery phase aviation will need, and has requested, global financial support to get back on track and to hit it’s emission reduction targets. The industry and European Commission, in talks this week, are very much concentrating on long term sustainable planning for decarbonisation.

FGA are the owners of a Gold Standard approved project which demonstrates that SAF is an offset and in order to get SAF to market quicker. We are pleased that the mechanism can be counted towards aviation’s mission to reduce carbon globally.

If you wish to discuss how this mechanism is going to develop, would like more information on Gold Standard, offsets or sustainable travel please contact us at FGA.

FGA will be supporting aviation’s sustainable future.

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