Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

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Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA, is an emission mitigation approach for the global airline industry, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). CORSIA addresses emissions from international air travel. The proposal has been described as "a delicate compromise between all involved in its elaboration."[1]


As per an IPCC report published in 1999[2], aviation accounted for approximately two percent of global carbon emissions due to human activity, as of 1992 [3]. Per capita emissions from air travel is one of the highest in comparison to various other modes of transportation [4]. The industry is expecting a growth in air travel in various regions[5]. Through CORSIA, the aviation industry is aiming for a carbon neutral growth from 2020.

Many airlines offers an option for airline passengers, for an additional payment, to offset their emissions associated with their air travel. Few airlines such as NatureAir[6][7] and Harbour Air [8] have been carbon-neutral. There are start-up aviation ventures such as FlyPOP that are aiming to be carbon neutral[9] [10].


CORSIA has three implementation phases, beginning 2021. Participation of countries till 2026 is voluntary.


As of January 2018, more than 70 countries representing more than 85% of international aviation activity have volunteered to participate. India and Russia are yet to join CORSIA. India, which has four of the five carbon-neutral airports in the Asia-Pacific region[11] and the world's first fully solar powered airport, has drawn attention to "differentiated responsibilities" and the "need to ensure the transfer of financial resources, technology transfer and deployment and capacity building support to developing countries for enabling them to voluntarily undertake action plans."[12].


Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries can volunteer to participate in CORSIA, while it is not mandated on them. However, all ICAO member states "with aeroplane operators conducting international flights are required to monitor, report and verify (MRV) CO2 emissions from these flights every year from 2019"[13]. All aeroplane operators with CO2 emissions less than or equal to 10,000 tonnes are exempted from the CORSIA reporting requirements[14].


CORSIA is a market based mechanism focusing on offsetting emissions through the process of an airline purchasing emission units equivalent to its offsetting requirements[15]. Offsetting processes may tend to divert the focus from reducing emissions, to trading on emissions [16]. It is also said that CORSIA is not as stringent as EU ETS [17]. While the scheme may address a significant percentage of emissions from international aviation, it may not fully contribute to a 'carbon neutral growth'. CORSIA has also not stated any upper limit to the aviation related emissions that may be produced by an airline operator or a country.

Emissions from domestic aviation[edit]

Emissions from domestic air travel is not included in CORSIA. ICAO states that "Emissions from domestic aviation, as other domestic sources, are addressed under the UNFCCC and calculated as part of the national GHG inventories and are included in national totals (part of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs))..." [18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "State letter" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Special report" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Aviation and the Global Atmosphere".
  4. ^ "CO2 emissions from passenger transport".
  5. ^ "As Billions More Fly, Here's How Aviation Could Evolve". 20 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Carbon neutral airline gets on board UN scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions". 20 November 2008.
  7. ^ "Flying the world's first carbon neutral airline". CNN iReport.
  8. ^ "Carbon Neutral - Harbour Air".
  9. ^ "Could a UK startup become the world's first 'carbon neutral' airline?".
  10. ^ "Could UK startup Fly POP become the world's first 'carbon neutral' airline? - Airline Suppliers". 20 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Airport Carbon Accreditation - ASIA PACIFIC".
  12. ^ "Report" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Report" (PDF).
  14. ^ "CORSIA - The ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation - EBAA".
  15. ^ IATA. "IATA - What is CORSIA".
  16. ^ "theguild". theguild.
  17. ^ "Report" (PDF).
  18. ^ "1. Why ICAO decided to develop a global MBM scheme for international aviation?".

External links[edit]