Bow-Tie Briefing – myth-buster of net-zero (part 5)

25 October, 2021

In our last edition of bow-tie briefing, the discussion was focused on the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This time, the emphasis will still be on the CO2 emission of the aviation industry but will shift a little to the international cooperation via the implementation of an initiative called: The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation or CORSIA.

CORSIA is a global scheme, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which is a statutory organisation in civil aviation under the framework of United Nations. It aimed at capping the net CO2 emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels to deliver carbon neutral growth from 2020.

The significant impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry resulted in ICAO determining that the use of 2020 emissions figures as a baseline for carbon-offsetting would result in a consequential reduction in the baseline and place an undue burden on carriers. It was determined that 2019 emissions figures are to be used for the CORSIA implementation pilot phase from 2021 to 2023.

As of 2020, 88 states have agreed to voluntarily participate in CORSIA from its outset. States have to submit CO2 emissions, through the CORSIA Central Registry (CCR). As of 31-Aug-2021, 115 States had submitted their 2019 CO2 emissions through the CCR. Collectively, these States accounted for more than 95% of the total 2019 revenue tonne kilometres (RTK).

Under CORSIA, air operators with international flights are subject to monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements. As of 01-Jan-2019, operators are required to monitor their annual CO2 emissions, have them verified through a third-party verification process, and submit them to the States to which they are attributed.

States collect emissions data from all their operators and submit consolidated information to ICAO. This global certified process ensures the data from all participating States in the world are consistent with apple-to-apple comparison. Airlines in participating States have taken steadfast action and conducted studies to understand the various potential impacts and have acquired the professional skillsets and knowledge to prepare them to meet CORSIA’s requirements.

Accurate data is a key requirement. As such, airlines have assessed all necessary infrastructure and flight operation systems to support data collection on metrics such as fuel use. These standards are critical for the success of the future formulation of climate change strategy.

In the next publication of “Myth-buster of Net-Zero”, we will continue to disclose more on the latest actions from our corporate travel industry responding to the global aspiration of carbon net-zero by 2050, please stay tuned. 😊

Bow-Tie Briefing shares the views of Benson Tang, a corporate travel thought leader and executive director of the CTC –Corporate Travel Community. Benson’s remarkable career in travel started more than 25 years ago and his extensive knowledge of the corporate travel sector has made him a sought-after speaker and lecturer.