Guyana, through the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will participate in the Pilot Phase of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) commencing in 2021. On this momentous occasion Guyana will proactively participate in the groundbreaking initiative launched by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This intention was communicated to the Secretary General of the ICAO when the Director General Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field presented the GCAA’s Letter of Participation during the 13th Air Navigation Conference in Montreal, Canada on October 16, 2018.
CORSIA is a market-based measure (MBM) adopted by ICAO as part of a broad set of measures to help ICAO achieve its aspirational goals to decrease the carbon footprint of international civil aviation.
A market-based measure (MBM) is a policy tool that is designed to achieve environmental goals at a lower cost and in a more flexible manner than traditional regulatory measures. Examples of MBMs include levies, emissions trading systems, and carbon offsetting – CORSIA will take the form of carbon offsetting.
CORSIA will have three implementation phases: the Pilot Phase from 2021-2023, the First Phase from 2024-2026, and the Second Phase from 2027-2035.
ICAO’s goals involve realizing carbon neutral growth from the year 2020 onwards, by keeping the net CO2 emissions from 2020 at the same level. A baseline level of emissions will be calculated from the years 2019 and 2020.
The total emissions from international aviation operations on routes that are covered under the scheme will be measured from 2021 onwards and will be compared to the baseline. Should the level of emissions found to be above this baseline, the emissions will have to be offset. Offsetting is done through acquiring and subsequently cancelling out emissions units acquired in the carbon market.
Benefits for Guyana
Participating in CORSIA’s Pilot Phase will catapult Guyana’s aviation industry directly to the forefront of the fight against climate change.
The inclusion of Guyana will bring the country closer to meeting the aspirational goal of carbon neutral growth. Director General of the GCAA, Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field noted that while Guyana is not a high emitter owing to the relatively small scale of its international aviation industry, when compared to major States such as those that reside in Central and North America, “our industry will inevitably grow, and we must be forward-thinking and address that growth in a sustainable manner”.
The initiative will be aligned with the Government’s Green State Development Strategy, thereby contributing to Guyana’s national goals and ICAO’s goals simultaneously.
States that voluntarily participate in the Pilot Phase will benefit from inclusion in ICAO’s capacity building initiatives and assistance programmes. Under the spirit of the ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative, ICAO has committed to providing skilled technical resources and training to voluntary States.
As a voluntary State, Guyana will also have the opportunity to share the experiences of developing States in implementing CORSIA. The Director General said “it is imperative that we are able to have our perspectives and capabilities as a Small State taken into consideration in the wider global conversation”.
Requirements for Operators
In the years 2019 and 2020, Guyana will implement a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to monitor the level of CO2 emissions from our international aviation operations and report these emissions to ICAO to create the baseline.
Local Aircraft and Airline Operators will develop and furnish an Emissions Monitoring Plan to the State for approval. After approval, the operator will be required to monitor their emissions throughout the year in accordance with the Plan. Their subsequent report to the State will be in the form of an Annual Emissions Report. Guyana will be required to provide a summarized State Report on total emissions to ICAO