Ensuring Transparency in CORSIA

By Peter Graham

May 2017

In a promising development for climate protection, in 2016 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) committed to launch, by 2021, a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). CORSIA will limit the net carbon dioxide emissions of flights between participating countries to 2020 levels, and will require airlines to procure emission reductions achieved elsewhere to “offset” their emissions above these levels. Forecasts indicate that airlines will need to offset some 2.5 billion metric tons of emissions from 2021 to 2035 – and potentially more if CORSIA’s ambition is strengthened.

This paper will outline some experiences drawn from existing carbon markets that exhibit high standards of transparency and public reporting, briefly explain how establishing such standards for CORSIA is in the self-interest of all stakeholders, and provide recommendations for transparency in CORSIA.