CORSIA – ICAO’s CO2 Strategy for Aviation

On October 6, 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) finalized the details of a market-based measure (MBM) to offset most of the growth in aviation carbon dioxide emissions beginning in 2020. The measure, known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), was agreed upon at ICAO’s 39th Assembly in Montreal and marks the first time an MBM covers an entire international sector.

CORSIA covers CO2 emissions, but notably excludes other aviation related climate pollutants such as black carbon, nitrogen oxides, and the precursors to aviation-induced cloudiness. Additionally, since the measure allows many member states to opt-out and only covers growth RTKs, only about 25% of international aviation activity will be covered by CORSIA. This policy update further describes the implementation and impacts CORSIA will have on aviation emissions.

In order to determine the coverage of CORSIA, I built a python-based coverage calculator which took in inputs of OAG schedules data, opt-in, and opt-out countries and outputted overall coverage of the scheme. Because of these inputs, coverage can be calculated almost instantly as additional countries opt-in to the scheme.

Two additional blog posts further discuss CORSIA’s coverage and potential impacts:

Is carbon neutral growth on the horizon for aviation? That depends on your definition

Reading the tea leaves in ICAO’s market-based measure