The Corsia Paris Agreement: What Does It Mean for Aviation and Climate Change?
The aviation industry is responsible for around 2% of global CO2 emissions, but its impact on climate change is much more significant due to other factors such as contrails and high-altitude emissions. This is why the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) launched the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia) in 2016, with the aim of stabilizing net CO2 emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels.
The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. All countries have agreed to contribute to this goal by submitting national climate plans (known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) and regularly reporting on their progress.
The Corsia Paris Agreement is the link between these two international initiatives, as it allows the aviation industry to contribute to the overall global effort to address climate change. Corsia requires airlines to monitor and report their fuel use and CO2 emissions on international flights, starting in 2019. From 2021, airlines will have to offset any emissions above their 2020 baseline by buying carbon credits from approved projects in other sectors, such as renewable energy, forestry or waste management. This means that the aviation industry will have to pay for its own carbon footprint, rather than relying on other sectors to reduce their emissions even further.
The Corsia Paris Agreement has been hailed as a significant step towards a more sustainable aviation industry, but it also has some limitations and challenges. Firstly, it only applies to international flights, not domestic ones, and not all countries have committed to join Corsia from the start. Secondly, the offsetting mechanism may not be enough to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, as it does not reduce emissions from aviation itself, but only compensates for them. Thirdly, the carbon credits must meet certain quality criteria and avoid double-counting, which requires a complex monitoring and verification system. Finally, the aviation industry may face resistance from some stakeholders, such as low-cost airlines or countries with growing air traffic, who may perceive Corsia as a burden on their competitiveness or development.
As a professional, it is important to highlight the key terms and phrases related to Corsia and the Paris Agreement, such as international aviation, carbon offsetting, CO2 emissions, national climate plans, 2 degrees Celsius, 1.5 degrees Celsius, carbon credits, renewable energy, forestry, waste management, domestic flights, international commitments, quality criteria, monitoring, verification, low-cost airlines, air traffic growth, competitiveness, and development. Using these terms in headlines, subheadings, and body text can improve the visibility and relevance of the article for readers interested in sustainable aviation and climate change.