On International Earth Day, ICAO is closer to its global sustainability goals


On April 22nd every year, International Mother Earth Day is celebrated around the world.  The United Nations observes the day for its importance in “recognizing the collective responsibility for promoting harmony with nature and the earth to achieve balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity”. In support of the well-being of the planet and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, ICAO is continuing its work to reduce aviation’s environmental impact on the environment.

The ICAO Council regularly reviews and adopts the recommendations from the Committee on Aviation and environment (CAEP), which includes amendments to the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on aircraft noise (Annex 16, Volume I), engine emissions (Annex 16, Volume II), and the recently adopted Annex 16, Volume III on aeroplane CO2 emissions. In addition, ICAO has offers several environmental toolkits for energy-efficient and sustainable aviation.

This year, ICAO efforts have been concentrated on the development of the necessary SARPs (new Annex 16, Volume IV) and guidance material for the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), in particular for the implementation of a robust Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from international aviation, by all States and their operators from 1 January 2019. The MRV system will set the sector-wide emissions baseline, as the average of CO2 emissions in 2019 and 2020, as well as enable the calculation of CO2 offsetting requirements for operators every year from 2021.

By adoption of Resolution A39-3, Member States of ICAO decided to implement a global market-based measure for international aviation, in the form of CORSIA. It was a historic achievement and the first of its kind in addressing emissions of a major industry sector at the global level. To date already 73 States, representing almost 90 per cent of international flight operations have committed to participate in CO2 offsetting under the CORSIA from its outset, further demonstrating the sector’s leadership on climate change. Implementation of CORSIA will contribute to the achievement of ICAO’s global aspirational goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020, thus complementing the other elements in ICAO basket of CO2 mitigation measures for international aviation, which also include aircraft technology, efficient operations, sustainable aviation fuels.

CORSIA will be implemented in phases, beginning with the participation of Member States in CO2 offsetting on a voluntary basis (from 2021 through 2026) , followed by the participation of all States except the exempted ones (from 2027 through 2035).

To ensure the successful implementation of CORSIA by Member States, ICAO is undertaking capacity building and assistance programmes, including the organization of regional seminars in all ICAO regions, and development of brochures and on-line tutorials related to CORSIA.

ICAO’s Seminar on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will take place at ICAO Headquarters from 2 to 3 July 2018. For more information, or to register for the event, click here