The United States supports changing a landmark aviation emissions scheme now under review by a UN agency, after airlines said the current deal could leave them with higher carbon offsetting costs when air travel recovers from coronavirus, sources familiar with the matter said.
The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) governing council, which meets from Monday through June 26, is weighing whether and how to change the global CORSIA deal, which starts in 2021.
Airlines, hit with a European-led backlash over pollution from flights, have pledged to spend billions of dollars under the deal to cap their emissions at 2020 levels through the purchase of carbon offsets.
But since emissions from international flights this year are set to drop significantly due to the pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has asked ICAO to change CORSIA’s baseline, now the average of emissions reported by airlines in 2019 and 2020, according to the deal.
IATA wants a baseline of 2019 alone, a change it says could save airlines $15 billion.