Carbon offsetting and reduction scheme with sustainable aviation fuel options: Fleet-level carbon emissions impacts for U.S. airlines

Hsun Chao, Datu Buyung Agusdinata, Daniel DeLaurentis, Ellen B. Stechel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


To reduce aviation carbon emissions, the International Civil Aviation Organization initiated the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which will take effect in 2021. In response, airlines have taken measures through various means, including the use of sustainable fuels. This article investigates the potential effects of a CORSIA-type policy when implemented in the United States. The study uses a combined model of airlines operations and multi-feedstock sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) to represent decisions of several actors, such as farmers, bio-refineries, airlines, and policymakers. The research employed a life-cycle assessment and Monte-Carlo simulation to evaluate two policy scenarios on the amount of SAF consumption and the resulting emissions. Implementing a CORSIA-type policy could stimulate the demand and production of SAFs, while also reducing air travel growth by increasing airfare. As a result of this combined effect and improved aircraft technology, there is a 3.5% chance that the U.S. airlines industry can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37.5–50% by the year 2050, compared to the 2005 emission levels. Despite a projected increase in air travel in 2050 by a factor of 2.75 (the median value), the emissions in 2050 are expected to rise to only 120% (the median value) of the 2005 level. The price of petroleum-based aviation fuels followed by the growth rate of the carbon price are the two most important factors to determine whether the CORSIA-type policy would achieve the emission reduction target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-56
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Aviation emissions policy
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Sustainable aviation fuels
  • U.S. airlines operations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)


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