What is CORSIA - Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation?

CORSIA is an international regulation as it comprises all 192 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). CORSIA was adopted during the 39th Assembly session in Autumn 2016. Its main purpose is to offset increases in CO2 emissions from international civil aviation compared to average emissions produced in the baseline years 2019 and 2020.

As CORSIA is an international scheme, it also covers emissions from international flights and offsetting requirements refer to the obligation to offset one part of the emissions produced during international flights between two participating ICAO member states (domestic flights are exempt under CORSIA; not counted towards overall international emissions). It is also to be noted that ICAO publishes the list of member states participating on a yearly basis.

Offsetting requirement is based on the sector growth factor (SGF), which is determined for every year separately as published by ICAO. It is communicated to participating aircraft operators by 30 November of the following year.

Regardless, the information which is currently already known are the eligible CORSIA emission units. As is the case for EU ETS, their price varies and depends on the market. Currently, the prices are still quite low; varying from 2 EUR to 30+ EUR per emission unit, but this will definitely change in the future when CORSIA will gain momentum, when more member states join and inevitably when CORSIA scheme grows past voluntary and becomes mandatory to all (except exempt states).

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Nick Houseman
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