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ICAOs 41st General Assembly – Summary of key changes to CORSIA


The global aviation industry will work toward achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of the long-term collective aspirational goal set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. 
The ICAOs 41st General Assembly has taken place in Montreal over the past two weeks till 7th October 2022 and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) underwent its first periodic assessment. The United Nations body for aviation also discussed several relevant topics that include sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and policy and financial assistance for achieving lower carbon emissions. 
The Air Transport industry is currently responsible for 2.5% to 3% of global CO2 emissions. In the Assembly, ICAO, IATA, and member states agreed on a new collective long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Initially, ICAO had planned to use an average of emissions from 2019 and 2020 as a baseline but due to the onset of the Covid pandemic which saw air transport decline rapidly, the baseline has been revised. The new CORSIA baseline from 2024 onwards, is now defined as 85% of CO2 emissions in 2019, and percentages for the sectoral and individual growth factors to be used for the calculation of offsetting requirements from 2030 onwards were also revised. The baseline is the reference period used to measure the growth of CO2 emissions in international aviation.
The Assembly agreed on the following changes to the design elements of CORSIA

2019 CO2 emissions as the CORSIA baseline for the pilot phase (2021 – 2023)

85% of 2019 CO2 emissions as the CORSIA baseline after the pilot phase (2024 – 2035)

Changes to the percentage of the sectoral and individual operator’s growth factors for the calculation of offsetting requirements under CORSIA are as follows:
  • 100% sectoral and 0 % individual for 2021 – 2032; and
  • 85 % sectoral and 15% individual for 2033 – 2035.  
To achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, organisations, governments, policymakers, financial institutions, and industries will need multiple measures, including the accelerated adoption of new and innovative aircraft technologies, streamlined flight operations, incentives and financing for Biofuel producers, supportive policies, and the increased production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels, etc.
The states also emphasize viable financing and investment support to achieve the new CO2 emissions goal and supported the new ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building, and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme to increase the availability and use of SAF. In addition, states requested a third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels to be convened in 2023.
As per the IATA estimation, 65% of the mitigation needed for net zero emissions in 2050 will come from SAF. In 2021, the industry purchased one hundred million litres of available SAF. The supply remains limited, and the price is far higher than conventional jet fuel. The states and regions are moving in the right direction and taking steps to boost SAF use, with Europe calling for clean fuel mandates under its "Fit for 55 package" and the US aiming to produce 3 billion gallons of SAF by 2030.
Upcoming CORSIA implementation
31 October 2022 The Secretariat is to publish on the ICAO website the total 2021 CO2 emissions and any 2021 CEF-related data in the CORSIA document “CORSIA Central Registry (CCR): Information and Data for Transparency”.
31 October 2022 The Secretariat is to publish on the ICAO website the ICAO document entitled “CORSIA Sector’s Growth Factor (SGF)” containing the 2021 value for the SGF; the SGF will be used by States to calculate the offsetting requirements of the operators attributed to them.
30 November 2022 Using the CCR, States update their list of aeroplane operators that are attributed to them and the list of verification bodies accredited in them.
30 November 2022 States to calculate and inform the operators attributed to them of their CORSIA offsetting requirements for 2021.
31 December 2022 States to obtain from the ICAO website and use the ICAO document entitled “CORSIA Aeroplane Operator to State Attributions" containing the latest list of operators and the State to which they have been attributed.
November and December (TBD) The 2022 version of the ICAO CORSIA CO₂ Estimation and Reporting Tool (CERT) is to be published.


> IATA's article on Net Zero Co2 Emissions Goal

Draft text for the report on Agenda Item 18

> Report of the executive committee on Agenda Item 17

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