U.N. aviation agency agrees to restrict carbon credits denounced by climate activists

MONTREAL (Reuters) – The UN’s aviation agency on Friday approved restrictions for a global scheme designed to help airlines offset their carbon emissions, a move that curbs industry funding for older projects whose environmental benefits have been challenged by climate activists, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) council approved recommendations to exclude projects issued before 2016 and only recognize emission reductions through end-2020, despite protest from Brazil, China and India, the sources said on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks.

ICAO’s 36-member council was tasked with weighing which programs would be eligible under the venture for airlines, known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Developing countries had hoped a global push by airlines to offset emissions would mop up a glut of carbon credits awarded under earlier climate initiatives.

The recommendations are for CORSIA’s pilot phase from 2021 to 2023.

ICAO was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by David Gregorio

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