This emissions deal could change aviation as we know it
A much-anticipated deal that will take on carbon emissions from the aviation sector was agreed upon at this week’s 9th annual International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) summit in Montreal. Some 191 nations have agreed to implement a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which will mandate that airlines buy ‘offset credits’ in order to cap aviation emissions at 2020 levels.
The deal will apply to international cargo and passenger flights, as well as business jets that generate over 10,000 tonnes of emissions per year. CORSIA will commence with an opt-in period of voluntary participation from 2021 to 2026. All participating states will be required to join from 2027.
Some 65 states have said they will begin adhering to the agreement in 2021, including the US and China. However, CORSIA deal does not align with the primary goal of the Paris Climate Agreement — to keep warming “well below” 2C.
Regardless, many in the aviation industry praised the agreement as a crucial step in tackling CO2 emissions from aircraft. It’s believed that domestic and international flights account for two percent of CO2 emissions globally.
“Today’s agreement shows what can be accomplished when we work together. The aviation industry understands that sustainability is critical. Airlines will continue to invest in new technology—particularly new aircraft and sustainable alternative fuels —to improve their environmental performance,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
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Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.