The European Parliament’s environment committee called for EU shipping emissions to be included in the ETS from 2023 if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) does not deliver a global deal by 2021. MEPs also voted for the cap on aviation carbon emissions to decline in line with other sectors and for a reduction in the number of free allowances, which airlines have been using to achieve windfall profits.
Faig Abbasov, shipping and aviation officer at T&E, said: “When the choices were between sailing towards oblivion or having ships and planes account for at least some of their climate impact, environment committee MEPs chose the latter. It also sends a clear message to the global aviation and shipping bodies that the time for weak or no action has long gone. Why should we let ships and planes do nothing while we regulate every other industry’s emissions?”
MEPs agreed to align the start of shipping in the ETS with the date by which the IMO promised to deliver a global deal. The aviation cap, which is static in the current trading period, will now decline in line with other sectors. 50% of aviation allowances will be auctioned, compared to 15% at present. A recent study commissioned by T&E has found that, within Europe, a reformed EU ETS would deliver emission savings four times that of ICAO’s weak measure.
Faig Abbasov concluded: “With much uncertainty hanging over ICAO and IMO, the European Parliament has acted decisively to ensure these sectors will be subject to effective climate measures. Council should now follow the Parliament’s lead, and ensure climate ambition is not entirely outsourced to two agencies with long records of inaction.”
The Parliament plenary will vote on its position next year. Negotiations between Parliament and national governments will then begin, with the aim of reaching an agreement on reform of the ETS by the end of 2017.