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Connie Hedegaard: "EU willing to 'stop the clock' on aviation in the EU ETS for flights into and out of Europe until after the ICAO General Assembly next autumn"

Airplane in blue sky © Stockbyte/John Foxx

Connie Hedegaard today announced that the European Union would defer the requirement under the EU Emissions Trading System for airlines to surrender allowances for flights into and out of Europe. This decision follows the very positive discussions that took place last week in the Council of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on a global market-based approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.

Commissioner Hedegaard said:

"The EU has always been very clear: nobody wants an international framework tackling CO2 emissions from aviation more than we do. Our EU legislation is not standing in the way of this. On the contrary, our regulatory scheme was adopted after having waited many years for ICAO to progress. Now it seems that because of some countries' dislike of our scheme many countries are prepared to move in ICAO, and even to move towards a Market Based Mechanism (MBM) at global level.

"Very good news came from the ICAO Council last Friday. I've just recommended in a telephone conference with the 27 Member States that the EU "stops the clock" when it comes to enforcement of the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS to and from non-European countries until after the ICAO General Assembly next autumn."

Commissioner Hedegaard added:"Let me be very clear: if this exercise does not deliver – and I hope it does, then needless to say we are back to where we are today with the EU ETS. Automatically." However, she called on all Parties to ICAO to engage urgently to take advantage of the window of opportunity that the EU was offering.

On 9 November, the ICAO Council had further discussions on a global approach for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation. The ICAO Council decided to initiate a high-level political process to reduce the present three options for a regulatory market-based mechanism. In particular, the Council explicitly referred to the global MBM that the world now needs to agree.

'Stopping the clock' on the implementation of the international aspects of aviation under the ETS means that the EU would not require allowances to be surrendered in April 2013 for emissions to and from the EU during 2012. The monitoring and reporting obligations will also be deferred for such flights. The obligations relating to all operators' activities within EU will remain intact and compliance with the EU law will be enforced in this respect.

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Last update: 04/11/2014 | Top