Aviation’s impact on the environment: updates from the EUR/NAT region

ICAO’s European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office provides support to 56 accredited States, striving to ensure a civil aviation system that prioritizes safety, security, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

Througout 2023, ICAO’s European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office organized several events to support States with the development and update of the State Action Plans, the implementation of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) requirements and the related environment tools, as well as the development and implementation of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) policy. The EUR/NAT Office carried out a number of capacity building and assistance activities and further strengthened cooperation with regional organizations to facilitate capacity-building activities and avoid duplication.

Several events were organized in coordination with the Arab Civil Aviation Organization (ACAO) for the North African (EUR) States and MID Region on Action Plan and implementation of CORSIA requirements. Two joint events were held with the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) on SAF policy development and implementation to support our Member States. Furthermore, EUR/NAT has participated in several capacity building webinars organized by other organizations.

State Action Plan Initiative on CO2 Emissions Reduction Activities for international aviation

The State Action Plan (SAP) is a means for ICAO Member States to establish a long-term strategy on climate change for the international aviation sector, involving all interested parties at a national level. In conjunction with the current ICAO Stocktaking process, the State Focal Points are encouraged to include innovative mitigation measures showcasing the new activities undertaken in the States. States that did not update their SAP in the current triennium or those who did not develop one, are invited to contact the Regional Office if support is needed.

As of today, 48 EUR/NAT States have already developed and submitted their State Action Plan to ICAO at least once. In the last triennium 31 States updated their SAP and submitted them using the APER website with one other developing its first State Action Plan.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) & sustainable aviation fuels (SAF)

We continued to work directly with States to support CORSIA implementation, as there were several milestones to complete in 2023. This included informing ICAO on the voluntary participation to CORSIA prior to 30 June 2023; the submission of the CO2 emissions data for the year 2022 to ICAO through the Central CORSIA Registry (CCR) by 31 July 2023 as well as the submission of the list of aircraft operators and verification bodies by 30 November 2023. Support to States was provided by organizing video calls with groups of States as well as providing technical assistance directly to the States’ Focal Points.

As of today, 45 States have provided their 2022 CO2 emissions data to ICAO and 48 States have provided their list of Aeroplane Operators using the CORSIA Central Registry.

Under the ICAO ACT-CORSIA programme, buddy partnerships among States have been established across the Regions, including five donor States from the EUR/NAT Regions and 14 recipient States. The ACT CORSIA 3rd phase, which started in April 2020 through 2023, focused on the implementation of reporting and verification requirements under the CORSIA SARPs. The EUR/NAT Office organized and supported several ACT-CORSIA seminars and follow up coordination calls to train States from Central and Eastern Europe with the support of Germany and for the North African (EUR) States with the support of France.

Environment will remain high on the priority list at global level after the adoption by the 41st ICAO Assembly of a long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) for international aviation of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in support of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement’s temperature goal.

The LTAG report shows that SAF has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation. The Third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 20 to 24 November 2023. The Conference reviewed the 2050 ICAO Vision for SAF, including Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF) and other cleaner energy sources for aviation, in order to define an ICAO global framework in line with the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative and taking into account national circumstances and capabilities.

A number of regional events, such as the ICAO EUR/NAT Environment Task Force, ACT-CORSIA webinars particularly on CORSIA eligible fuels and emissions units and ACT-SAF workshops are planned for this year. ICAO EUR NAT Member States will continue pursuing additional sustainability objectives and the ongoing implementation of CORSIA.

With regard to CORSIA, our focus is to provide training for focal points on the preparation and implementation of the requesting States’ CORSIA MRV system, in particular, the submission of 2023 CO2 Emissions Reports as well as provide information on CORSIA eligible fuels (CEF).

In 2024, in accordance with ICAO Annex 16 volume 4, States will have to continue monitoring, verifying, and reporting the CO2 emissions generated by the international flights to ICAO. In 2024, States are required to provide 2023 total annual CO2 emissions aggregated for all aeroplane operators on States pairs with reporting requirements including the provision of total 2023 emissions for each airplane operator; and the provision of two aggregated figures (annual CO2 emissions subject to offsetting requirements; and annual CO2 emissions not subject to offsetting requirements). In addition, States with airplane operators that use CORSIA Eligible Fuels (CEF) and wish to claim associated emissions reductions, have to submit additional information on the CEF claimed.

Operators and States have fulfilled their monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements in accordance with Annex 16, Volume IV. Following the compilation of the 2022 CO2 emissions submitted by States through the CORSIA Central Registry (CCR), the Secretariat also prepared the new edition of the following two ICAO CORSIA documents:

We will continue to strengthen our capacity-building activities to further support the States and provide individual and tailored assistance. The new ICAO initiative ACT-SAF provides tailored support to States on sustainable fuel development and deployment, and facilitate related partnerships and cooperation around the world. Becoming an ACT-SAF Partner requires agreement to the ACT-SAF Terms and Conditions. While not one solution will fit all States and stakeholders, ICAO has an important role to play in bringing partners together and supporting capacity building and implementation. As more States and partners get involved in the Programme, ACT-SAF will create positive ripple effects globally, and help unlock feedstock potentials for SAF markets over the coming decades.

CORSIA – Upcoming deadlines for 2023 and 2024 as set by Appendix 1 of Annex 16 vol. IV

30 November 2023 State shall submit updates to the list of aeroplane operators that are attributed to it to ICAO, as well as updates to the list of verification bodies accredited in the State
1 January 2024 to 30 April 2024 Aeroplane operator shall compile 2023 emissions data to be verified by a verification body
30 April 2024 Aeroplane operator and verification body shall both independently submit the verified Emissions Report and associated Verification Report for 2023
1 May 2024 to 31 July 2024 State shall conduct an order of magnitude check of the verified Emissions Report for 2023, including any filing in of data gaps in case of non-reporting by aeroplane operators
30 June 2024 State shall notify ICAO of their intention to participate in the CORSIA offsetting requirements

from 1 January 2025 (for first time participation only)

31 July 2024 State shall submit required information regarding CO2 emissions for 2023 to ICAO  and, if applicable, information on CORSIA eligible fuels through the CCR
31 October 2024 State shall obtain and use the Sector’s Growth Factor (SGF) for 2023 from the ICAO document entitled “CORSIA Annual Sector’s Growth Factor (SGF)” that is available on the ICAO CORSIA website


CorsiaEURNATnet-zero carbon emissionsSAFState Action Plansustainable aviation fuels