Following a review of the policy options, the Commission adopted a Communication in September 2005 setting a strategy for reducing the Climate change impact of aviation . The Communication, which was accompanied by an impact assessment, concluded that a comprehensive approach was necessary. Most elements of this were already in train but needed to be strengthened. They include
- giving research into ‘greener’ technology highest priority in the 7th Framework Programme for Research & Technical Development
- improving the efficiency of European Air Traffic Management (ATM) through the Single European Sky SESAR initiative
- removing legal obstacles to the taxation of aviation fuel to facilitate more consistent transport energy taxation policy
- working in ICAO on developing more stringent technical design standards to reduce aircraft emissions at source
But the main conclusion was that the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) should be extended to include aviation. This conclusion drew on detailed studies of taxation, emission charges as well as emission trading as possible means of incentivising the aviation sector to limit or reduce its emissions.
Since the Communication was published, a Working Group has considered the design options for doing this and published a report. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have also given their views on the Communication. The Commission is working towards publishing a specific legislative proposal by the end of 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter.