EU Accepts ICAO CORSIA Rules Package but Has Concerns over Emissions Units and Sustainable Fuels Criteria
(GreenAir Online) The European Union has signalled its general acceptance of the ICAO CORSIA Package proposals that were sent to ICAO Member States for comment. The Package contains the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) technical rules for the international aviation carbon offsetting scheme that will apply to States and aeroplane operators from 2019. A letter to ICAO signed by Filip Cornelis, Director of Aviation at the European Commission’s transport directorate, says that while the EU “is not completely satisfied” with elements of the package, in the interests of reaching and maintaining ICAO agreement, the EU endorsed the consensus reached by the governing ICAO Council and strongly urged the adoption of the proposed package without further amendment. The consultation with ICAO States formally ended on Monday, although online publication Carbon Pulse reports ICAO has extended the deadline.
The letter says the proposed package represented “a delicate compromise” between the various ICAO working groups and bodies, and the EU had shown “significant flexibility so far” in the negotiating process. However, it adds, any attempts to weaken key elements of the proposals “would be strongly opposed.”
The letter is referring to perceived efforts by some countries to water down the sustainability criteria for alternative aviation fuels, widen the eligibility criteria for emissions units and weaken transparency of the scheme, “all of them critical to CORSIA’s environmental effectiveness and uniform application,” it points out.
In its comments on the Package, the US recommends that no substantive changes are made and stresses it would oppose any changes to the draft text on a number of key provisions. These include, for example, certain requirements relating to the MRV system on emissions and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and also aspects of the emissions unit criteria and SAF sustainability criteria. It suggests clarity amendments regarding fuels so that only the terms “aviation fuel” and “sustainable aviation fuel” should be used throughout the SARPs. READ MORE