International aviation and European lorry carbon reduction systems move forward

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has approved detailed rules on the operation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)* system – the global aviation emissions offset regime, reports Keith Nuthall. The scheme enables airlines to invest in carbon reduction initiatives, inside and outside the industry, which can remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as is released by an airline.

ICAO has now established the terms of reference a technical advisory body (TAB), a group of environmental experts nominated by member states, charged with recommending eligible emissions reduction programmes into which airlines in CORSIA can invest. It has also approved criteria for the board to evaluate programmes applying for incorporation in CORSIA.

Speaking after the meeting of the ICAO Council making these decisions, ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said: ‘These decisions related to TAB are critical to the…adoption of eligible units for CORSIA.’

Meanwhile, an agreement has been struck between the European Parliament, the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers and the European Commission on the first EU regulation limiting carbon dioxide (CO
2) emissions from lorries and trucks. Under the legislation, which still needs formal approval by the Parliament and Council, emissions from new trucks will have to be 30% lower in 2030 compared to 2019, and 15% lower by 2025.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is concerned about complying with this law as the baseline for lowering emissions has yet to be set. An ACEA note says that EU governments need to install more electrical recharging and alternative fuel recharging infrastructure, to power the numbers of low emissions lorries and trucks needed to meet the targets. Heavy-duty vehicles account for 6% of total EU carbon emissions, according to a note from the centre-right European People’s Party, a European Parliament bloc. Christofer Fjellner, its lead MEP on the regulation, is also concerned that the reductions are too ambitious, stating: ‘I’m worried that we’re hurting competitiveness and thus few will be inspired to follow our example.’

*For more details, visit

Heavy-duty vehicles account for 6% of total EU carbon emissions
Photo: Peter H, Pixabay

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