The nation of Colombia could potentially attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to protect its forests through a system currently under consideration by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its 191 member states, according to a new analysis by the firm Climate Advisers. The analysis finds that the benefits of the plan would dramatically outweigh the costs of voluntarily opting into the program early, all while taking action to prevent climate change.
“To meet their climate change commitments, the international aviation industry will need to offset much of their pollution through reductions in other sectors. This demand could support Colombia’s efforts to reduce deforestation while bringing in at least $300 million in private investment,” said Peter Graham, Managing Director of Policy and Research.
ICAO and its member states agreed last October to implement a plan – CORSIA – to offset, reduce and limit further increases in pollution from carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global climate change. Countries are currently discussing which kinds of offsets airlines can use to meet their targets. One potential option could be Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, known as REDD+, where the airline industry can offset their climate impact by supporting healthy forests that soak up carbon dioxide.
Climate Advisers’ analysis suggests potential global demand for more than two billion tonnes of investment-quality climate pollution reductions from 2021 through this program alone, which could be met through programs and projects already underway in Colombia.
“We encourage the government of Colombia to opt in to CORSIA at the earliest opportunity and encourage its regional partners to do likewise,” said Anthony Mansell, Director of Policy and Research. “Higher participation means a bigger market, and a greater opportunity for Colombia to draw investment.”
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