What is CORSIA?

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is a global scheme to address emissions from international air travel. Agreed on in 2016 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it obliges airlines to monitor and report their emissions from 2019 and to purchase emission reduction units generated by projects in other sectors, to cover any growth in CO2 emissions above 2020 levels from 2021.

Does CORSIA affect your airline?

Monitoring and reporting is mandatory for all CORSIA-eligible operators from January 1st, 2019. Offsetting will not be mandatory for a few years but if you operate internationally, it is very likely it will affect your airline particularly if you meet the following criteria:

  • Aircraft weighs more 5,700kg on takeoff
  • 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted annually on international routes
  • Operating for more than three years
  • Both states connecting the route your airline is flying are participating in the pilot stage of the scheme

Many countries have already signed up to the pilot phase of the scheme for 2021-2023.

What do you need to do to comply with CORSIA and when do you need to do it?

A pilot phase where some countries may require carbon offsetting, and first and second phases, where more countries will be included in the offsetting part of the programme.

2019-2020: Monitoring and reporting

All qualifying airlines in ICAO countries were obliged to begin monitoring reporting emissions on January 1st, 2019. The final deadline to submit a monitoring plan was February 28th, 2019. Operators have to hire an accredited third party to verify their emission report before submitting it to the relevant national authority by 30th May 2020.

Data collected in 2019 and 2020 will establish an emissions baseline and help determine offset requirements for 2021.

Starting from 2022, emission reports for the previous year are due by 30th April.

2021-2026: Offsetting in the early phases

CORSIA-eligible operators must offset routes flown between states committed to participating in the scheme's voluntary early phases.

Routes flown between a participating state and a non-participating state, or between two non-participating states are not eligible for offsetting.

2027-2035: Mandatory offsetting in second phase

Beginning in 2027, participation in CORSIA will become mandatory for most states and so apply to almost all international routes. The only exemptions after 2027 will be those to and from states with low aviation activity, or classified as "Least Developed" "Small Island Developing"or "Landlocked Developing".

Every three years starting in 2025, operators will have to acquire and retire the number of emissions units that match their offsetting obligation for the relevant compliance period.

Find out how South Pole can help you with Strategy and Offsets for CORSIA Compliance.

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