It's been a long time coming, but finally the results are here: ICAO has revealed what type of carbon credits are eligible for offsetting aviation emissions via CORSIA. If you're new to the conversation, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is a global program to address emissions from international air travel.
While this brings welcomed clarity both to aircraft operators and carbon project developers (like us at South Pole), the decision is only valid for three years, during the pilot phase, and then it will be re-evaluated.
In mid March, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council determined that carbon projects developed according to the following programs will be allowed:
- The American Carbon Registry
- The China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program
- The Clean Development Mechanism
- The Climate Action Reserve
- The Gold Standard
- The Verified Carbon Standard.
The ICAO Council followed the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Board, which also decided that the credits to be used for offsetting must come from projects starting after January 1, 2016 (ie this would be the start of the first crediting period, as specified at the time of project registration), and where the emission reductions must continue through December 31 2020.
At South Pole, we have been following the development of CORSIA with great interest for several years. In the absence of clear rules, we have continued to build a portfolio of projects that would minimize the risk of CORSIA non-eligibility. Now that the rules are clear, we are well positioned to serve aircraft operators with a diversified portfolio of eligible carbon credits.
We also think it is a great idea that the ICAO Council restricted the vintage and timeframe for eligible credits to avoid an oversupply in the program. With 2016 as the cut-off date, we will see a robust price signal which is key to incentivize the development of new projects.
We are now set to go full steam ahead and offer aircraft operators covered by the CORSIA program an offset procurement strategy, including analyzing offset demand, help navigate the eligibility rules, determine best sourcing pathways and assist in tenders.
Also, we can offer eligible offsets from our own project portfolio at a competitive price as we avoid middlemen. And finally, if there is interest, we can also develop tailor-made projects for airlines that they can use to offset their emissions and that have a specific profile that appeals to their clients.
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