Flights to and from Europe have been automatically re-included in EU ETS since the start of 2017. In February the Commission proposed, in response to development at ICAO, to once more exempt these flights, this time indefinitely. The environment committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted its report on this file in July, and the full Parliament will vote on it on September 13th.
T&E’s ETS calculator shows how getting the right balance on aviation’s inclusion in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) can help solve two problems at once: the sector’s major and growing climate impact, and Europe’s need to raise climate finance. Decision-makers should seize this opportunity offered by the ongoing reform of aviation provisions in the EU ETS.
Last week’s deal reached at ICAO, the UN agency, to establish a global offsetting programme for aviation received a mixed response, yet it was heralded by industry and some policymakers as the dawn of sustainable aviation.
Aviation is a substantial and growing driver of climate change, currently responsible for almost 5% of global warming. The objectives of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without action to rein in its emissions growth. This T&E briefing outlines how, at its triennial assembly, ICAO has an opportunity to adopt a global market-based measure which can be a starting point for greater global ambition. However, negotiations dominated by the need to protect industry and favour historic emitters is weakening the prospect of a credible deal.
Despite being in need of reform, the EU’s aviation ETS is functioning, is being complied with, and has the potential to deliver real emissions reductions, a new analysis shows. Its key design features – emissions allowances instead of offsets, being binding instead of voluntary, and full instead of partial coverage of emissions – are all superior to the draft global deal under negotiation at the UN’s aviation agency ICAO. Europe is under pressure to dismantle its regional measure even though discussions on a global measure at ICAO remain fractious.
Today MEPs called on the EU to hold back any decision on participating in a UN carbon offsetting scheme for aircraft emissions reflects – reflecting concern over the findings of a new study that the scheme will seriously undermine Europe’s 2030 climate targets.
This independent study, commissioned by T&E, finds that Europe risks seriously undermining its 2030 climate targets if, as industry argues, it implements a UN offsetting scheme for aviation in full and without reservations. The measure, known as CORSIA, risks creating a gap of 96.2Mtonnes CO2 – equivalent to Europe’s steel and iron emissions in 2015 – with the EU’s 2030 target due to its weak target and reliance on discredited offsetting. To avoid missing its target, other sectors will have to increase their climate ambition to compensate for aviation’s inaction.
NGOs working on aviation’s climate impact have called on the European Commission to reject industry demands to hastily sign up to the controversial ‘Corsia’ carbon offsetting scheme for international aviation. T&E is warning that such a move is both against EU law, and threatens the only effective measure currently in place to address aviation emissions.
European NGOs working on aviation climate policy (EuroICSA) today wrote to the European Commission as it prepares a response to rules circulated for the global offsetting scheme for international aviation, known as CORSIA.