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A4E Applauds EU Efforts to Secure Landmark Implementation Agreement on Future Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)

Global ICAO scheme should replace existing Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to reduce carbon emissions for flights within the European Economic Area (EEA) as of 2021


A4E today applauded EU efforts to reach a landmark CORSIA implementation agreement at the ICAO Council session in Montreal. The deal, which builds on the October 2016 agreement, defines the key parameters for CORSIA implementation in the future. It will assist airlines in compensating for growth-related carbon emissions from aviation from 2020 onwards.

The CORSIA agreement is an unprecedented milestone in the history of international climate change policy and a unique opportunity to address carbon emissions worldwide through a Global Market-Based Measure. The scheme complements long-standing industry efforts to invest in cleaner, more fuel-efficient aircraft, switch to low-carbon fuels and operate more efficiently.

“We have worked closely with our industry partners for many years to advocate for this global landmark deal — and we applaud the efforts of Commissioners Bulc and Cañete in making it happen”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines 4 Europe (A4E). “We reiterate, however, our expectation that CORSIA shall be the only measure applicable to carbon emissions from flights within the EEA as of 2021. Any measures at the national and EU levels, such as an aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), would place an unfair double burden on European airlines and put them at a competitive disadvantage in the global market”, Reynaert added.

In the context of this agreement, A4E continues to advocate for the development of robust sustainability criteria for alternative fuels and policy initiatives enabling a more widespread usage of biofuels. In addition, it is calling on the ICAO Council to make swift progress on the Emissions Unit Criteria for eligible carbon credits.

About A4E

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. A4E works with policymakers to ensure aviation policy continues to connect Europeans with the world in a safe, competitive and sustainable manner. As a key initiator of aviation’s Destination 2050 roadmap, A4E and its members committed to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions for their own operations by 2050. With a modern fleet of over 3,200 aircraft, A4E airlines carried over 270 million passengers in 2021 — down from 700 million in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year, A4E members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 3.7 million tonnes of goods, life-saving vaccines and essential medical equipment to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Follow us on Twitter @A4Europe.