The European Commission today proposed amending the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) so that aviation emissions would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace.
The adjustment in the legislation would apply from 1 January 2014 and until a global market-based mechanism (MBM) becomes applicable to international aviation emissions by 2020, as planned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "In the light of the recent progress made at ICAO, not least thanks to Europe's hard work and determination, the European Commission today has proposed to adjust the EU ETS so that emissions from the aviation sector would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace. The European Union has reduced greenhouse gas emissions considerably, and all the economic sectors are contributing to these efforts. The aviation sector also has to contribute, as aviation emission are increasing fast – doubling since 1990."
She added: "I am confident that the European Parliament and the Council will move swiftly and approve this proposal without delay. With this proposal, Europe is taking the responsibility to reduce emissions within its own airspace until the global measure begins."
The key features of the revised ETS system resulting from this proposal would be as follows:
The Commission would like to see the proposal agreed by the European Parliament and Council by March 2014 to provide clarity for aircraft operators, who would otherwise have to surrender allowances for their all emissions on flights in 2013 to and from third countries by 30 April 2014.