Photo by Emmanuel Phaeton on Unsplash

Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) are eligible credits for compliance with obligations under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) implemented CORSIA to keep global net CO2 emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels (so-called “carbon neutral growth from 2020”). This is achieved by offsetting any emissions above 2020 levels that remain after the use of sustainable aviation fuels and implementation of technical and operational improvements in the sector. The CORSIA program has established rules for determining the sector’s requirements for offsetting and allocating the offsetting obligation to airlines.

Obligations under the CORSIA program are effective for 2021 to 2035. Over 100 countries are participating in the current, voluntary pilot phase and this participation is expected to grow until 2027 when participation becomes mandatory for most countries in the ICAO framework.

Most project types in the VCS Program are eligible to supply VCUs into CORSIA. As per the current scope of eligible VCS projects set by ICAO, the crediting period must have started on 1 January 2016 onwards and the mitigation must have occurred up until 31 December 2020. ICAO will further consider the eligibility of mitigation occurring from 2021 onwards through VCS projects.

Project proponents may request a CORSIA label be applied to eligible VCUs, either as part of the issuance process or by specific request thereafter. This CORSIA label will be displayed on the Verra Registry to indicate which VCUs may be retired for CORSIA purposes. CORSIA-labeled VCUs are searchable in the Verra Registry under the “Additional Certifications” field.

In March 2020, Verra hosted two webinars to review the inclusion of VCUs in CORSIA.

Note: The presentation erroneously states that the CORSIA procedures to avoid double-counting apply to vintages from 2016 to 2020. They apply to vintages post 2020.


Eligible VCUs under CORSIA

VCUs that meet each of the following conditions are eligible for use in CORSIA for the 2021-2023 pilot phase:

  • Sustainable development contributions reporting: VCUs issued to projects that have reported on their sustainable development contributions through one of the following: