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Winrock International

ICAO Expands Approval of art Credits for global aviation’s carbon market

Extended ICAO eligibility based on ART's updated program rules to ensure avoidance of double-counting with Paris Agreement targets

ARLINGTON, Virginia, December 1, 2021 – The Secretariat of the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) welcomes the approval by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to extend the eligibility of ART-issued TREES Credits for compliance under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Initially approved to supply units generated between 2016 and 2020, the recent ICAO decision expands eligibility to include ART-issued units generated during the period 2021 to 2023. This decision marks the first ICAO approval of a jurisdictional REDD+ crediting program to offer post-2020 vintage credits for airlines to meet their targets in the first compliance cycle 2021-2023.

“ART is pleased with the ICAO Council’s decision based on consistency of our updated program requirements with the ICAO Emissions Unit Criteria to assure the avoidance of double counting,” said Mary Grady, Executive Director of the ART Secretariat at Winrock International. “This decision offers airlines the opportunity to demonstrate climate leadership by purchasing credits that are aligned with the Paris Agreement as well as with the San Jose Principles. We look forward to working with first-mover forest countries and airlines to put these procedures into practice to ensure environmental integrity and transparency.”  

ICAO’s decision to approve post-2020 ART-issued offset credits was based on ART’s recent updates to its program requirements, as aligned with the recently finalized Article 6 rulebook, to ensure avoidance of double-counting of credits used for CORSIA with mitigation targets under the Paris Agreement. In the context of climate change mitigation, double-counting describes situations where a single greenhouse gas emission reduction or removal is used more than once to demonstrate compliance with mitigation targets.

ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that manages the standards that govern international aviation. In 2016, ICAO approved the CORSIA as a global market-based mechanism to achieve carbon-neutral growth in international aviation starting in 2020. The ICAO Council’s decision follows recommendations from the 19-member Technical Advisory Body (TAB) that was established to evaluate programs’ compliance with Emissions Unit Criteria for offsetting requirements in the 2021-2023 pilot phase of CORSIA. To date, ICAO has approved only eight carbon crediting programs globally to supply offset credits for the CORSIA, which is expected to reduce or offset between 2.5 and 4 billion tons of CO2-e through 2035.

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