The European Parliament today voted to confirm the Commission’s proposal to suspend for one year the inclusion of flights to and from Europe in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Parliament’s decision stressed that the EU’s emissions clock will start again if the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) does not manage to agree on a global deal to curb international aviation emissions at its triennial Assembly next September.
In July 2012 the European Commission published its proposal on fuel efficiency and CO2 standards for new cars in the year 2020 (Review of Regulation 443/2009). The Commission proposes to reduce fuel consumption of new cars by almost 30% by 2020 to 3,8 l/100km (or 95g CO2/km). This proposal is currently being discussed by the Council and the European Parliament and is of singular importance to Poland.Poland is a country with a rapidly growing car fleet and a equally growing thirst for oil.
The clock may have been stopped for a year, but time is still passing. ‘Stopping the clock’ was a big gesture from the EU. With the world saying it was the EU’s decision to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that was preventing global action to tackle aircraft’s contribution to climate change, the EU said ‘OK, we’ll suspend our action for a year to create the chance for a global agreement.’ Yet so far, little progress has been made and the blame heaped on the EU’s ETS looks more and more like the empty excuse we always thought it was.
Airlines are making so-called ‘windfall profits’ of up to €1.3bn by charging passengers for permits to pollute which they are no longer obliged to hand over to European countries. That is the main conclusion of a study by the Dutch consultancy CE Delft carried out for T&E. T&E, in a statement, called for airlines not to retain these windfall profits - which would, they say, be a betrayal of passengers’ contributions to fight climate change. Instead, the campaign group called for any such profits to fund developing countries’ efforts to deal with the effects of climate change.
Flying in the face of industry claims about the unbearable cost  of including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), air carriers will generate up to an estimated €1.3bn in windfall profits in 2012 alone, a new study by independent consultancy CE Delft reveals.
A new study shows that the aviation industry will receive substantial additional windfall profits from the proposed ‘stopping of the clock’ for flights to and from Europe under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Airlines should not retain these windfall profits – that would be unjust, self-serving and a betrayal of passengers’ contributions to fight climate change - but give them to the UN’s Green Climate Fund established to assist developing countries tackle the impacts of climate change.
In this open letter, Transport & Environment, in conjunction with other environmental campaign groups, call on EU Finance Ministers urging them to support a significant increase in the minimum levels of taxation of diesel fuel for transport purposes.
"The role of the Commission in advancing the road pricing agenda cannot be underestimated", T&E Director Jos Dings stated at the Conference on fair and efficient road pricing organised by the European Commission on 5 Dec:
Road pricing is progressing because the list of its advantages is impressive. No wonder ever more countries in Europe are choosing for road user charging, and we are having a conference about its future.
The European Commission has proposed a one year “stop the clock” derogation for the aviation portion of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive to provide ‘breathing space’ for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to come to a global agreement on regulating international aviation emissions. The derogation applies to all flights to and from Europe (including EFTA states and Croatia) except intra-European flights.T&E regrets that the Commission has been put in this difficult position through international pressure, particularly from the US.