In late June, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) took the step of endorsing the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

In Montreal, Canada, the ICAO Council met and approved a brand new set of Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) to ensure that airlines complied with this new carbon offsetting scheme, finalised by ICAO in 2017. We spoke about CORSIA in a previous blog post. Now, the ICAO Council has released its technical guidelines on how to comply with it.

The ICAO Council’s move will now allow States and firms across the world to make their final preparations before CORSIA obligations begin in January 2019. The industry had previously been urging for the adoption of such technical rules. We at Avlaw Aviation Consulting congratulate the ICAO Council on this important achievement.

The SARPs, according to ICAO Council President Dr Olumuwiya Benard Aliu, will become a new Volume IV to Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention, the international civil aviation treaty. This comes less than two years after ICAO’s States achieved the agreement on CORSIA at the 39th Assembly.

The new SARPs help to guide CORSIA’s monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) scheme which describes comprehensively what needs to be done. The ICAO Council also approved the 2018 ICAO CORSIA CO2 Estimation and Reporting Tool (CERT). This provides a simple tool for small operators to monitor and report their carbon dioxide emissions. The new Annex 16 essentially creates a basis for emissions baselines as well as for measuring and reporting reductions.

It is important now for States to adopt these global SARPs into national requirements in time for January 2019, when the obligations kick in. Companies must also work hard to understand these SARPs to understand their obligations under the international agreement.