UN Aviation Agency moves forward on climate action

The Assembly of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has approved, by a solid majority, moving forward with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). It also committed itself to undertake the research needed to develop, by 2022, a roadmap for a long-term climate goal for international aviation.

It took these steps despite objections by China, India and Russia to a study of options for a long-term target, and even though China reiterated its previous objection to the CORSIA goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

“This Assembly moved CORSIA forward with the support of a broad majority of ICAO members. EDF will be watching to see that all airlines implement CORSIA with integrity, and we will press airlines and governments to put in place the declining limits on climate-damaging emissions that are needed to make flying something that is compatible with Paris climate goals,” Annie Petsonk, international counsel of Environmental Defense Fund said.

While the General Assembly reaffirmed its previous policies to begin to address aviation’s climate impacts, it will need to do much more to chart the kind of course needed to avert dangerous lock-in of climate-damaging aviation infrastructure, she added.

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