Informing EU policy options for tackling aviation’s climate impact: Assessing ICAO’s global market-based measure (CORSIA) and its interaction with the EU ETS

A global scheme to regulate the climate impact from international aviation – the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA – aims to offset any growth in sector emissions after 2020. The EU, which has signed up to CORSIA, currently regulates domestic and international aviation through its cap-and-trade policy instrument, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). It now needs to decide how to implement CORSIA for flights arriving into, departing from, and travelling within countries covered by the EU ETS.

A NewClimate Institute team, along with partners, carried out a consulting assignment for the European Commission to inform options for regulating emissions from the aviation sector. The project provided a comprehensive assessment of CORSIA and considered a number of different options for its implementation in the context of the EU ETS.

NewClimate’s role drew on our team’s extensive expertise both on the design of CORSIA as well as more broadly on international carbon credit markets. Our work provided an in-depth analysis of key features of CORSIA in relation to its ambition in the context of the Paris Agreement and EU climate policy. This included an appraisal of CORSIA’s environmental integrity, considering participation in the scheme, transparency, enforceability of the rules, the criteria for eligible carbon credits and their quality. We analysed the demand, supply and cost of carbon credits to 2035 to inform our assessment of the climate impact of the scheme under a range of different scenarios.