Global Community Reaches Landmark Climate Agreements in Advance of Marrakech

The global community has reached two major climate agreements in advance of the COP22 round of international climate change negotiations set to begin in Marrakech, Morocco on November 7, 2016.

ICAO: Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly agreed on October 6, 2016 to implement the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), a global market-based measure (GMBM) to control carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation. CORSIA will address any annual increase in total carbon dioxide emissions above 2020 levels from civil aviation flights that depart from one country and arrive in another.

CORSIA is intended to complement a basket of mitigation measures that the air transport community is pursuing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation, including technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation.

A total of 66 countries (including Canada), representing 86.5% of international aviation activity, agreed to join the scheme during its voluntary phase (2021 through 2026). The scheme will become mandatory for most countries in its second phase (2027 through 2035). Exemptions were agreed for least developed countries, small island developing states, landlocked developing countries, and countries with very low levels of international aviation activity.

On June 29, 2016, Canada, the United States, and Mexico committed to work together and through ICAO to adopt a market-based measure to help enable carbon neutral growth in the civil aviation industry from 2020 onward as part of the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership Action Plan, announced at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa.

Kigali Amendements to Montréal Protocol: Agreement to Reduce HFC Emissions

More than 170 countries reached a landmark deal to reduce the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions on October 15, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montréal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The amendment to the Protocol could prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

HFCs are a powerful greenhouse gas, trapping thousands of times more heat than carbon dioxide. The organic compounds are commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances.

The final version of the Kigali deal will impose three schedules for HFC emissions reductions:

  • Developed countries will be required to stabilize HFC use by 2019 and reduce emissions to 15 percent of 2012 levels by 2036.

  • Most developing countries will be required to stabilize HFC use by 2024 and reduce emissions to 20 percent of 2021 levels by 2045.

  • Five of the world’s warmest countries will be required to stabilize HFC use by 2028 and reduce emissions to 15 percent of 2025 levels by 2047.

Parties also agreed to mobilize financing for HFC emissions reductions and research and development of affordable alternatives to HFCs. The terms of the financing will be negotiated at the next Meeting of the Parties in Montréal, in 2017.

For further information, please contact Lisa DeMarco at

Special thanks to Jonathan McGillivray for his assistance in preparing this bulletin.

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