Notification on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)

In “A European Green Deal”

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On 14 July, as part of the 'Fit for 55 package', the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a Decision amending Directive 2003/87/EC as regards the notification of offsetting in respect of a global market-based measure for aircraft operators based in the Union. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requires countries to ensure that airlines based in those countries offset CO2 emissions that exceeding the relevant baseline (2019 CO2 emissions) by international credits. However, according to estimates of aviation CO2 emissions it is unlikely that there will be any CORSIA offsetting requirements during the period 2021-2023.

This proposal amends the aviation rules in the Emissions Trading System of the European Union (EU ETS) to ensure that Member States notifiy EU-based airlines of their offsetting obligations for the year 2021 under CORSIA. EU Member States should calculate offsetting obligations of airlines in respect of 2021 emissions and inform them by 30 November 2022. Those airlines should then cancel the according number of credits by 31 January 2025. This proposal should be adopted by Council and the European Parliament once the emissions data for 2021 will be known, i.e. after 1 January 2022. For subsequent years, in case that relevant 'Fit for 55' proposals are not yet adopted, the same approach would be taken. 

On 20 October 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted an opinion endorsing the Commission's proposal and recommended adopting it without delay to achieve legal certainty.

In the European Parliament, the proposal has been referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). Sunčana Glavak (EPP, Croatia) was appointed as rapporteur. On 14 July 2021, the ENVI Committee held an exchange of views on the on the Fit for 55 (Fit for 2030) package with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans. On 14 September 2021, the Fit for 55 package was debated in the European Parliament plenary session. The rapporteur's draft report was finalised on 17 January 2022. The draft report of the associated Committee on Transport and Tourism was presented on 7 February 2022. In ENVI several climate files including ETS for aviation was discussed during its meeting on 10 February 2022. The deadline for amendments to the rapporteur's draft report expired on 16 February.

ENVI committee voted on the draft report in its meeting on 11 May 2022, affirming the proposed notification procedure for 2021 emissions and offsetting under CORSIA, while underlining the temporary nature of this approach, to only apply until the entry into force of the revised directive 2003/87/EC governing the EU emission trading system, which is currently undergoing the legislative process.

The Parliament adopted the report during the June I 2022 plenary session with 547 votes in favour, 44 against and 45 abstentions. The file was referred back to the ENVI Committee with a mandate for trilogue negotiations.

In the Council Environment ministers held a first exchange on the Fit for 55 package at an informal meeting on 20 July 2021. The Council Working Party on Aviation discussed the proposal on 9 and 30 September 2021 and again on 18 November 2021. An overview of progress made on Fit for 55 files in various formations within the Council, were released on 22 November 2021. On 20 May 2022, The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) adopted a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal.

A first trilogue meeting took place on 6 September 2022. In November 2022, an inter-institutional agreement was reached, the text of which was voted in the ENVI committee on 1 December and adopted by the Parliament during its plenary session on 13 December 2022. The Council adopted the text on 19 December 2022, which allows for Member States to notify registered aircraft operators. I will soon be published in the official journal and enter into force.

At the end of October 2022 ICAO determined that the 2021 sector growth factor (SGF) for emissions equalled zero, compared to 2019 emissions. The Decision states that Member States should notify aircraft operators the offsetting requirement for 2021, being zero. The Decision is reiterated as a temporary measure, pending the transposition of the revised directive 2003/87/EC regarding the EU ETS. Has the revised EU ETS directive not been fully transposed by 30 November 2023, and that ICAO determines, as is expected a zero SGF for 2022 aviation emissions, Member States should notify aircraft operators of this. Should ICAO determine a level different from zero, the Commission should if appropriate submit a new proposal on notification of 2022 offsetting requirements.

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Author: Liselotte Jensen, Members' Research Service, legislative-train@europarl.europa.eu

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As of 15/12/2022.