4. What are the mechanisms for the CORSIA implementation? How will ICAO support States to implement the CORSIA?

Paragraph 20 of Assembly Resolution A39-3 requested that the ICAO Council, with technical contribution of the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), to develop Standards and Recommended Practices (referred to as SARPs) and related guidance material for the implementation of the Monitoring and Reporting and Verification (MRV) System. This material is under development and expected to be adopted by the Council by 2018. Paragraph 20 also requested all ICAO Member States, who have aircraft operators operating international flights, to implement an MRV System from 1 January 2019, and do necessary arrangements for the implementation of the MRV System in accordance with the MRV SARPs.

The reason behind why the MRV system should start to collect CO2 emissions data from 2019 comes from the need to set the CORSIA’s sectoral baseline as the average emissions of 2019 and 2020. It is important to note that, regardless of the phased implementation or exemptions under the CORSIA, all States with aircraft operators undertaking international flights are requested to compile and transmit emissions information of their operators to ICAO, as part of the MRV system.

Paragraph 6 of A39-3 also requested the development of a methodology to ensure that an operators’ offsetting requirement can be reduced through the use of sustainable alternative fuels in the MRV System.

The CORSIA calls for international aviation to address and offset its emissions through the reduction of emissions elsewhere (outside of the international aviation sector), involving the concept of “emissions units”. One emissions unit thereby represents one tonne of CO2. Two main types of emissions units exist: “offset credits” from crediting mechanisms and “allowances” from emissions trading schemes.

Offsetting could be through the purchase and cancellation of emissions units, arising from different sources of emissions reductions achieved through mechanisms (e.g. UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism), programmes (e.g. REDD+) or projects (e.g. substituting coal-fired stoves with solar cookers). The buying and selling of eligible emissions units happens through platforms at carbon markets. Carbon markets, like other markets, are influenced by the law of supply (eligible emissions units offered from different sources) and demand (eligible emissions units purchased by aircraft operators to offset their international aviation emissions under the CORSIA).

As per the request by Assembly Resolution A39-3 paragraph 20, ICAO Council, with technical contribution from CAEP, will determine the eligible emissions units for use by the CORSIA.

There are some areas where support to States would be needed for the implementation of the CORSIA, such as the establishment of the MRV system, and the development of national and regional registries. For example, as a result of the GLAD 2016 dialogues, most States expressed that further assistance would be needed to implement a MRV system and a registry for the purpose of a global MBM scheme, including the need for ICAO to provide capacity building and training.

With regard to the support for the implementation of a MRV system, the following provisions are included in the Assembly Resolution A39-3:

• According to paragraph 22 a), the Council shall also take necessary action to expand the provision of capacity building and assistance for the preparation and implementation on Member States’ action plans, in order to accommodate capacity building and assistance for implementation of the MRV system by Member States from 1 January 2019, including organization of seminars and training in all regions from 2017, and facilitation of financial support where needed, in particular for those States that volunteer to participate in the pilot phase and require support to do so.

• According to paragraph 22 b), Member States are encouraged to build partnerships among themselves to cooperate on the implementation of the MRV system.

In this context, it is worth noting that the Aviation Environmental System (AES) has been developed and operationalized as part of ICAO-EU partnership project to assist the development of State Action Plans in 14 African and Caribbean States. The AES is a tool to facilitate States to monitor CO2 emissions from international aviation at the State level. The AES could be adapted to support the preparation and implementation of the MRV system required under the CORSIA.

With regard to the support for the implementation of registries, the following provisions are included in the Assembly Resolution A39-3:

• According to paragraph 22 c), the Council shall also take necessary action to expand the provision of capacity building and assistance for the preparation and implementation on Member States’ action plans, in order to accommodate capacity building and assistance for establishment of registries by States, including organization of seminars and training in all regions from 2017, and facilitation of financial support where needed, in particular for those States that volunteer to participate in the pilot phase and require support to do so.

• According to paragraph 22 d), Member States are encouraged to build partnerships among themselves to cooperate on the establishment of their own registries or group registries established by groups of States, and possible pilot implementation.

Building upon existing assistance projects in this area, ICAO is already exploring possible partnerships with Member States and international organizations to facilitate provision of technical and financial assistance for ensuring full implementation of the MRV system and registries under the CORSIA.

As requested by the Assembly, a series of five regional seminars were held in the following venues: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (27 to 30 March 2017); Bonn, Germany (3 to 6 April 2017); Jakarta, Indonesia (10 to 13 April 2017); Nairobi, Kenya (10 to 13 April 2017); and Cairo, Egypt (18 to 20 April 2017). The objectives of the regional seminars were to share information on CORSIA’s design elements and implementation aspects and to provide an opportunity for States to share their existing readiness for CORSIA implementation, with the assessment of further assistance needs. The objectives of the CORSIA seminar held at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal, Canada in May 2017 were expanded to discuss the outcome and lessons learned from the regional seminars to seek commonality in terms of expected next steps.

  • What are the components of CORSIA MRV system?

  • What are the procedures for “verification” of CO2 emissions?

  • What is the requirement to be an external verifier, and who accredits the verifier ?

  • How to account for the use of sustainable alternative fuels in the MRV system?

  • What levels of aggregated emissions data will be reported to which stakeholders ?

  • What is the reporting timeline every year?

  • What levels of information to be available on the public?

  • What are simplified procedures for MRV and related ICAO tool?

  • What happens in case a late reporting or not reporting at all?

  • What is an emissions unit / carbon credit?

  • What’s the difference between “purchase” of an emissions unit and “cancel” of an emissions unit?

  • When can operators purchase emissions units/ carbon credits?

  • What happens if operators don’t cancel enough emissions units / carbon credits to meet their offsetting requirements?

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