Sustainability of Aviation Fuels

In 2016, ICAO Assembly Resolution A39-2 requested States to recognize existing approaches to assess the sustainability of all alternative fuels in general, including those for use in aviation which should achieve net GHG emissions reduction on a life cycle basis, contribute to local social and economic development; competition with food and water should be avoided.


Subsequently, in the second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/2) recognized that the sustainability of alternative aviation fuels is of essential importance to the efforts of international civil aviation to reduce its CO2 emissions, and that this is ensured by application of sustainability criteria to SAF as is currently under consideration by ICAO.


In that regard, a set of Sustainability Criteria was approved by the ICAO Council, in the context of consideration of SAF during the Pilot Phase of CORSIA (until December 31st, 2023). These Criteria are registered in the ICAO document "CORSIA sustainability criteria for CORSIA eligible fuels"

 Currently, the CORSIA Sustainability Criteria encompass two Sustainability Themes, as follows:

  • 1. Greenhouse Gases (GHG) – Principle: CORSIA eligible fuel should generate lower carbon emissions on a life cycle basis.
  • 2. Carbon stock - Principle:  CORSIA eligible fuel should not be made from biomass obtained from land with high carbon stock.


Compliance with Themes 1 and 2 will be granted on the basis of independent attestation by CORSIA approved Sustainability Certification Schemes (SCSs). More information on this process can be found here.


Work on other themes such as Water; Soil; Air; Conservation; Waste and Chemicals; Human and labour rights; Land use rights and land use; Water use rights; Local and social development; and Food security, and related criteria, and on the application of these criteria, is ongoing under the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) and will be subject to approval by the Council by the end of the pilot phase.

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