Executive Briefings

UN Agency To Fee Airlines for Cross-Border Flight Pollution

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a United Nations agency, has announced a framework for mandatory carbon-offsetting on all international flights. The agreement was backed by 65 countries, which between them account for 86.5 percent of international flight operations.

International flights, unlike domestic ones, were exempt from last year's Paris Agreement on climate change. This new tentative accord seeks to plug that gaping hole, ICAO says. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will come into effect in 2021, when signatories will begin voluntarily monitoring and policing pollution on international flights. By 2027, participation is supposed to be mandatory for all nations.

Using 2019 and 2020 pollution levels as a baseline, countries and their carriers will be allocated a set quota of "emissions units" each year. Those that exceed their share will then have to buy additional units, which will be traded openly on a carbon exchange. The revenue generated from these transactions will go directly to UN-approved environmental schemes and carbon-offset projects.

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International flights, unlike domestic ones, were exempt from last year's Paris Agreement on climate change. This new tentative accord seeks to plug that gaping hole, ICAO says. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will come into effect in 2021, when signatories will begin voluntarily monitoring and policing pollution on international flights. By 2027, participation is supposed to be mandatory for all nations.

Using 2019 and 2020 pollution levels as a baseline, countries and their carriers will be allocated a set quota of "emissions units" each year. Those that exceed their share will then have to buy additional units, which will be traded openly on a carbon exchange. The revenue generated from these transactions will go directly to UN-approved environmental schemes and carbon-offset projects.

Read Full Article