Ahead of the crucial meetings of the UN aviation body, ICAO, in July 2015 and again in February 2016 and at its assembly in October 2016, Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) and T&E are calling on Europe to push for an environmentally effective ICAO CO2 standard. In this letter to EU climate and transport ministers and European Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Violeta Bulc, the two groups say the EU and the US need to work together to ensure a standard that actually reduces emissions. Otherwise the two markets should work together on their own standard, since they are over half of the global market.
Environmentalists have warned Europe’s policymakers that they need to ensure the environmental integrity of the current EU ETS for aviation is not abandoned in return for nothing from the global aviation industry. The caution followed comments by the airline trade association, IATA, that a global market-based mechanism to tackle aviation’s carbon emissions won’t be ready by 2016 as agreed.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has paid a €1.4 million fine levied by a Belgian regional government for not complying with the EU’s aviation emissions trading system (ETS), prompting calls for all member states to disclose non-European airlines in breach of the rules. Countries are required to do so under a 2008 EU law.
A ruling by a branch of the British legal system could have far-reaching implications for the future of emissions trading for aviation. An adjudicator has dismissed an appeal by a non-EU airline which refused to report on its emissions from intra-EU flights under the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). T&E says the impact of the decision is likely to be small, but the implications could be significant.
Speech delivered by Jos Dings, T&E director, at the European Parliament Transport Committee’s hearing on the White Paper on Transport on 17 March 2015.
Ending the generous tax exemptions aviation enjoys would create a level playing field between all transport modes, help meet our 2030 climate targets, and answer the EU’s call for a shift away from labour taxation.
Aviation's tax-exempt status has always been an unjustified subsidy to the most carbon-intensive mode of transport. As the EU's commits to further emissions reductions and to a shift towards environmental taxation, so arguments for abolishing these exemptions are stronger than ever. This briefing outlining what steps the EU needs to take, and how ending these exemptions can reduce emissions and create employment.
Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.
In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources — international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.
The latest round of climate talks concluded in Lima last month with a sense that some of the basics have been agreed to set the foundations of a global agreement in Paris next year. While the final outcome fell short of expectations, all parties seem to have accepted in principal the need to curb their emissions to keep an increase in global temperature below 2C. However, the two international sectors, aviation and shipping - the emissions of which have not been allocated to parties - seem to be the exception.