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In autumn 2016, the 191 Member States of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will decide on key features of a market-based measure (MBM) to cap emissions from international flights at 2020 levels. One of the key issues is the sustainability of the emissions reduction measures to be credited under the scheme.

WWF-UK has commissioned the Stockholm Environment Institute to look into supply and sustainability of carbon credits and alternative fuels for aviation.

The analysis looks at specific carbon project types and alternative fuel pathways, as well as certification schemes in these sectors. It finds that, from 2020-2035, 3.0 Gt of emissions reduction could be achieved through carbon credits that perform well on reducing emissions and support sustainable development, plus up to 0.3 Gt from sustainable alternative fuels with low risk of land use change.This amounts to 73% of ICAO's higher end demand for emissions reductions, or 100% of its lower end demand.

WWF is therefore calling on airlines and ICAO alike to focus on credits and fuels that achieve real emissions reductions and support sustainable development, while ruling out credits and fuels that perform poorly on reducing emissions or pose risks to sustainable development.

Greener Skies? Carbon credits and alternative fuels summary report PDF

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