Agreement reached to limit emissions from aviation industry

The 'Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme' has been criticised by some activists

Agreement reached to limit emissions from aviation industry

Image: Steve Parsons PA Wire/Press Association Images

The UN aviation agency has agreed on an new deal to limit CO2 emissions from air travel.

Government, industry and civil society representatives agreed to the proposals at the assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

It will see emissions offset but not reduced.

According to The Guardian, the deal will see the industry funding forest areas and other carbon-reducing activities - costing around 2% of the aviation industry’s annual revenues.

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is said to complement existing measures to curb aviation emissions.

A pilot phase of the new deal will run between 2021 and 2023, with the first full phase between 2024 and 2026.

A main phase from 2027 to 2035 would see all states on board, with exceptions for some developing nations.

The US and China are among those committing to taking part in the volunteer phases.

ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said: “It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our Member States, industry and civil society. “

"We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of States who will voluntarily participate [...] This will permit the CORSIA to serve as a positive and sustainable contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”

However, the deal has received a mixed response from activists.

Transport & Environment aviation director Bill Hemmings said: “Airline claims that flying will now be green are a myth. Taking a plane is the fastest and cheapest way to fry the planet and this deal won’t reduce demand for jet fuel one drop. Instead offsetting aims to cut emissions in other industries.

“Today is not mission accomplished for ICAO, Europe or industry," he added.