Options for Improving the Emission Unit Eligibility Criteria under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

This discussion paper assesses options for improving the current Emissions Unit Eligibility Criteria (EUCs) used for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), with the goal of ensuring the scheme’s environmental integrity. Clearly articulated EUCs are needed to define minimum standards for the “quality” of carbon offset credits that may be used under CORSIA. For this analysis, we focus on five EUCs that are essential for offset credit quality: additionality; baselines; permanence; avoidance of double counting; and causing no net harm. To evaluate the current EUCs, we review current practice among major carbon offset programs, and identify areas where the EUCs could be revised or elaborat-ed to better align with best practices. We then provide specific recommendations for revision, refine-ment, or elaboration to improve each EUC, including suggested text edits and additions. We find that the current EUCs are mostly sufficient in covering basic conceptual elements for each of the criteria. However, all of the EUCs reviewed here could benefit from more elaboration on essential program requirements and procedures needed to ensure that the criteria are realized. In most cases, the formal wording and terminology used in the EUCs could also be improved.