ICAO's market-based measure

An interactive tool to see how additional countries’ support for the MBM can boost coverage of international aviation emissions.

News alert: On October 6, 2106 the UN aviation agency adopted an historic global aviation climate agreement.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN body that sets standards for international flights, has a goal of “carbon neutral growth from 2020” — i.e, limiting the net emissions of international flights to year-2020 levels. With enormous growth projected for this sector, that’s a significant gap to close.

Better air traffic management/operational improvements; new technologies and standards for more efficient aircraft; lower-carbon biofuels — all, in principle, can help close the gap. But governments, industry and NGOs agree that there’s a crucial role for a global market-based measure (MBM) so airlines can purchase high-quality emission reductions to offset the remaining emissions above 2020 levels.

In 2013, ICAO committed to finalize this MBM, known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA, by its 39th Assembly, 26 September to 7 October 2016.

Under the draft text [PDF] that ICAO’s Assembly will consider:

  • From 2021-2023, States would opt in to a voluntary pilot phase
  • From 2024-2026, States would opt in voluntarily to another phase
  • From 2027-2035, States would participate if they have an individual share of international aviation activities in revenue-tonne-kilometers (RTKs) in year 2018 above 0.5% of total RTKs or if their cumulative share in the list of States from the highest to the lowest amount of RTKs reaches 90% of total RTKs
  • Least developed countries, land-locked developing countries, and small island developing countries would all be exempt throughout
  • Exempt States and States not covered, could opt in if they so choose

Below, we’ve checked the boxes of all States that have signaled they are likely to join from the beginning, starting in 2021. Bars indicate the amount of forecasted cumulative emissions above 2020 levels this participation could be expected to cover in the voluntary phase, the mandatory phase, and the combined phases (from 2021-2035)1.


[1] Boeing Current Market Outlook 2016-2035 (The Boeing Corporation, 2016); "Aviation Carbon Footprint: Global Scheduled International Passenger Flights" – 2012; "PRESENT AND FUTURE TRENDS IN AIRCRAFT NOISE AND EMISSIONS" (ICAO, 2013); "Present and Future Trends in Aircraft Noise and Emissions" (ICAO, 2016)

[2] "Eleven ICAO LTF (Long Term Forecast) Regions," ICAO Document APANPIRG/25 - WP/17 APPENDIX C: ICAO LTF REGIONS USED FOR ANALYSIS AND FOR PUBLICATION (Passenger Traffic) (International Civil Aviation Organization, September 2014)