Key environmental targets discussed at 40th ICAO Assembly

Important civil aviation environmental protection outcomes were established this year at the 40th ICAO Assembly, including the strengthening of international resolve to move forward on the implementation of the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA) emissions offsetting solution for international flights and the basket of measures of environmental protection to reduce emissions.

States present at the 40th ICAO Assembly stressed the importance of moving forward with the CORSIA emissions solution, but believe the work done so far shows promise for the future. ICAO Photo
States present at the 40th ICAO Assembly stressed the importance of moving forward with the CORSIA emissions solution, but believe the work done so far shows promise for the future. ICAO Photo
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States’ decisions relevant to CORSIA included advancing work supporting CORSIA-eligible fuels and emissions units, progressing the structure of the CORSIA central registry, and the continuation of ICAO’s ACT CORSIA capacity-building initiative, which has been of tremendous assistance to many national governments.

With the 40th Assembly taking place during a period characterized by the world’s largest ever climate marches — including one which passed right before ICAO’s doorstep on Sept. 27, led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg — it was recognized as an encouraging signal that governments reconfirm their resolve in support of the CORSIA global offsetting solution.

While highlighting the successful adoption of the new fourth volume to Annex 16, and the ICAO-driven development and implementation of 116 State Action Plans to reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions, further ICAO Assembly decisions called for prioritization of a long-term global aspirational goal for international aviation CO2 emissions reduction, and the need for further elaboration of the 2050 ICAO Vision on Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

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States also acknowledged the excellent progress recently achieved through ICAO on the first aeroplane CO2 emissions standard, and the non-volatile particulate matter standard for aircraft engines. They also called for ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to prioritize an exploratory study on environmental impacts of new supersonic aircraft being developed.

At the conclusion of the 40th Assembly on Friday evening, States acknowledged the crucial leadership of the president of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, towards achieving these outcomes. A number of States took the floor of the assembly to stress the importance of an inclusive and sustainable approach to the development of the global civil aviation system, and thanked Aliu for his personal commitment in this regard.

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