Aviation has a unique taxation regime that is characterised by a lower level of taxation than many other economic activities. The low-tax regime is supported by a number of interacting national, European, global and bilateral rules and agreements.
Transport is Europe's biggest climate problem accounting for 27% of its GHG emissions in 2017. This report summarises a series of studies by Transport & Environment. (T&E analysed pathways for decarbonisation in the road freight, aviation, shipping and car sectors.) It demonstrates that transport can and must be decarbonised by 2050 at the very latest, not only to limit global warming but also to ensure Europe's competitiveness, its energy sovereignty and the health and well-being of its 500 million citizens.
Hosted by Julie Girling (EPP) and Seb Dance (S&D)
Welcome and Introduction: Julie Girling MEP
European governments should hold off for now on signing up to a UN carbon offsetting scheme for aviation, according to an official EU proposal circulated last week – a copy of which was published by Politico. If agreed by a majority of member states, the EU member states of UN aviation agency ICAO would be required to reserve their position on the scheme and ‘file a difference’ with the agency before 1 December. This would protect the EU’s aviation climate legislation and gives the bloc time to fully evaluate the scheme before taking a final decision by 2020, as required by EU law.
Decarbonising the global economy requires all the world’s major economies to join forces and move in the same direction. That makes fighting climate change the largest cooperative effort humankind has ever embarked on and also explains why the Paris agreement was such an important achievement. But at the same time it is clear international agreements are only one part of the climate puzzle. And that’s actually a good thing.
Today’s proposal that EU member states hold off on signing up to a UN carbon offsetting scheme for aviation protects the EU’s aviation climate legislation and gives the EU time to fully evaluate the scheme before taking a final decision by 2020, as required by EU law, European NGO federation Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Journalists were briefed this afternoon on the European Commission proposal for a Council position.
Aviation is already a major and growing emitter. In Europe its emissions have doubled since 1990, and globally they could, without action, double or treble by 2050. The sector will have a substantial fuel demand well into the 2030s, 2040s and beyond, the period when our economy needs to increasingly decarbonise. This report puts forward measures to limit that fuel requirement, but ultimately the remaining and substantial fuel demand will need to have its carbon content eliminated. The process of cutting and then decarbonising that fuel demand is the focus of this report.
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.