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Recommendations for CORSIA

Prepared for the Bonn Climate Change Conference 30 April – 10 May 2018

Carbon Market Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the APA discussions as they relate to the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)  agreed in October 2016 at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 39th Assembly, and corresponding adjustments needed to accurately harmonize the climate measure with ongoing work in the UNFCCC.

The goal of the CORSIA is to offset annual increases in CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. The scheme will be voluntary through 2026 before a mandatory phase including all countries, with the exception of Lead Developed Countries (LDCs) Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), unless they volunteer to participate.

The structure of the scheme is still undefined as technical rules, i.e. related to monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), offset criteria, registries and the constitution of a governing  body have yet to be established. Nevertheless, the Resolution does make a clear reference to the eligibility of UNFCCC credits provided they meet offset criteria developed by the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), expected to be approved at the June ICAO Council session:

The ICAO Assembly “decides that emissions units generated from mechanisms established under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are eligible for use in CORSIA, provided that they align with decisions by the Council, with the technical contribution of CAEP, including on avoiding double counting and on eligible vintage and timeframe;”

With a clear link established between the UNFCCC and the ICAO market based measure, guidance under the Paris Agreement is needed to ensure that the CORSIA contributes to the goals of the Paris Agreement and does not undermine the achievement of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). To this aim, it is imperative to ensure that rules are in place to transparently communicate the aviation sector’s progress towards the long term goal, avoid double counting by adjusting NDCs to account for UNFCCC units used under the CORSIA, and strengthen public access to information.

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