UN's CORSIA plan to offset carbon emissions to supplement EU carbon market

Reuters has reported the CORSIA plan of the UN aviation agency to offset carbon emissions from international flights will supplement, not replace, the European Union carbon market, the EU´s transport commissioner said.

With the United Nations planning a 2021 launch of CORSIA, its global scheme to help airlines offset their carbon emissions, some EU lawmakers and environmental groups want assurances that the European Commission will not remove aviation from the EU emissions trading system (ETS).

The EU transport commissioner said CORSIA will not put the ETS at stake. It will not replace the ETS. It will complement the ETS.

Flights between European countries are currently covered by the EU carbon market, which requires airlines to buy permits to cover some emissions from these trips.

The UN aviation agency ICAO wants the EU to remove these flights from its carbon market so that CORSIA can be the only market-based measure tackling international aviation emissions.

CORSIA plans to use a system of offsetting to cap emissions from international flights at 2020 levels. From 2021, airlines would have to buy carbon offset credits to cover any emissions above the 2020 baseline.

Countries´ participation in CORSIA is voluntary until 2027, when it becomes mandatory. Countries including China and Russia have not yet confirmed they will take part in the optional phase.