IATA starts discussions with ICAO on changing CORSIA baseline to exclude 2020 emissions
As IATA’s regular updates on the Covid-19 impact on the air transport industry become increasingly pessimistic, many analysts are warning of an extended crisis with global air traffic not returning to previous levels for some years. IATA has raised its previous forecast on industry losses in 2020 by 25% to $314 billion and a near halving of passenger traffic (RPKs) and capacity. The airline industry body has already started discussions with ICAO on changing the CORSIA baseline to avoid including 2020 emissions in the calculation, which would lead to an increased offset purchasing requirement during the course of the 15-year scheme. Both the EU and the US have shown some sympathy with the request. However, the European mood is that airlines should not escape their climate responsibilities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and that aid should come with strings attached.
A further outcome of the pandemic for CORSIA, although to some extent this may have happened anyway, is that a number of countries have extended the deadline for airlines and other aircraft operators reporting their CO2 emissions for 2019 to their national authority.
The official date is May 31 – just over a month’s time – but in some countries the deadline is earlier, for example Mauritius (March 31), Ukraine (May 1) and the Philippines (May 8). Operators based in Hong Kong, which is administered by China, have to meet a deadline of April 30. Countries that have postponed the deadline include Australia (June 30), Mexico and the United States (July 31) and Canada (October 31).
Numerous operators are still working to complete the reporting and verification process by the end of May deadline despite the pandemic, reported Verifavia, a leader in CORSIA emissions verification.
“We strongly encourage operators to continue and complete the process as originally planned,” said Verifavia CEO Julien Dufour. “If people are working from home with a good internet connection, and with access to their company’s systems and databases, then there should be no problem to complete the process. However, in case this is not possible, we recommend operators contact their CORSIA administering authority to request an extension of the deadline.”
Dufour said despite reports to the contrary, it is not a requirement for operators to have their emissions verified on site. “Our CORSIA verification team is working full time and remains fully committed and operational around the world – working from home – to answer queries, perform verification activities and ensure operators meet the CORSIA compliance timeframe,” he said. “We have developed remote verification techniques for all our aviation customers, including the use of basic audio and video conferencing facilities as required.”
He confirmed that many operators are concerned about the baseline implications of using 2020 emissions.
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