Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee today courageously voted against a bad deal on aviation emissions trading foisted on them by political leaders in the UK, France and Germany. The bad deal, reached during trilogue negotiations, would have scaled back the Commission’s proposal to regulate all aviation emissions in EU airspace, in favour of only covering flights between EU airports until 2016. This would have exempted long-haul flights from all regulation, even though they account for the bulk of EU emissions. CO2 emissions coverage would have been reduced by three quarters compared to the original scheme.
MEPs from the socialist S&D group are still deciding on next week’s vote to only regulate CO2 emissions of intra-European flights which, T&E argues, effectively dismantles the aviation emissions trading system (ETS). The Parliament’s environment committee will consider the trilogue deal, which reflects EU governments’ giving in to pressure from third countries, the aviation industry and Airbus.
EU member states yesterday succumbed to pressure from third countries and the aviation industry and decided to shrink the aviation emissions trading system (ETS) to only cover flights between EU airports until 2016. This decision leaves long-haul flights totally unregulated and sends the signal internationally that EU sovereignty can be curtailed through outside pressure.
Green NGOs  have made formal requests to the Emissions Trading System (ETS) enforcement authorities in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK to take all necessary enforcement actions against airlines that failed to comply with the ETS in 2012.
Aviation is the most carbon intensive transport mode, yet European member states exempt airlines from fuel tax and airline tickets completely from VAT. Now, with its aviation state aid guidelines, the Commission has decided to open the floodgates and expand operating aid to airports in an effort to boost their turnover.
The European Commission today published its final guidelines on state aid for aviation, which will allow regional airports and the airlines serving them to keep receiving subsidies worth an estimated €2-3 billion a year.
Foreign airlines that failed to comply with the EU’s aviation emissions trading system (ETS) must be forced to pay for their pollution, environmental NGOs have told authorities in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.
MEPs on the Environment Committee today stood up to political pressure from member states and industry by voting to endorse the European Commission’s proposal for an aviation emissions trading system covering all of Europe’s airspace. Although the proposal regulates only 35% of airline emissions compared to the original EU ETS, it crucially captures a portion of long-haul flights – where most of aviation’s greenhouse gases originate.
NGOs wrote to French president François Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and UK prime minister David Cameron to express deep concerns about their governments’ continued efforts to weaken Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) for aviation. Transport & Environment, the Aviation Environment Federation, Réseau Action Climat France, and Bund (Friends of the Earth – Germany) urged the leaders to support the European Commission's proposal to ensure enforcement measures are taken against airlines which have failed to comply with their 2012 obligations.
The European Commission has proposed to change the geographical scope of the EU ETS. This would result in fewer emissions under the cap, and consequently a smaller absolute emissions reduction. This note by CE Delft analyses how the cap would need to be changed in order to ensure a constant absolute emission reduction from the aviation sector. It finds that the cap needs to be 15-55% lower than the one proposed by the Commission.