MEPs fly in the face of bullying on EU aviation emissions trading

Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee today courageously voted against a bad deal on aviation emissions trading foisted on them by political leaders in the UK, France and Germany. The bad deal, reached during trilogue negotiations, would have scaled back the Commission’s proposal to regulate all aviation emissions in EU airspace, in favour of only covering flights between EU airports until 2016. This would have exempted long-haul flights from all regulation, even though they account for the bulk of EU emissions. CO2 emissions coverage would have been reduced by three quarters compared to the original scheme.

The result of the vote was tied, with 29 MEPs supporting the more environmentally effective ‘airspace’ proposal against 29 MEPs voting for the weaker deal. This means the weaker trilogue deal is rejected. Peter Liese, the leading MEP on the subject, must now take the original committee position in favour of the airspace decision to plenary on 3 April.
 
Aoife O’Leary, policy officer for aviation at Transport & Environment, said: “The aviation ETS is the only international climate measure in place today that tackles aviation’s soaring emissions. The trilogue compromise, which would effectively have dismantled the ETS, was a bad deal and rightly rejected by the Parliament. This decision sends the clear signal to political leaders in member states, to industry and to foreign countries that the EU’s sovereignty is not subject to external bullying.”
 
The rejected deal was agreed earlier this month in trilogue by Liese, under heavy political pressure from the UK, France, Germany and Airbus as well as external politicking from Russia, China and the US. 
 
“The Parliament has clearly said that Europe will not dismantle the ETS at the will of Airbus or foreign states and should stand firm as an environmental leader once again. An environmentally effective deal that covers emissions from all aircraft operating in Europe must be found in the upcoming negotiations,” O’Leary concluded.
 
Aviation is the most carbon-intensive transport mode, responsible for about 5% of man-made climate change. If aviation were a country it would be ranked 7th in the world for CO2 emissions – between Germany and Korea. EU aviation emissions, a third of global totals, have doubled since 1990 and will triple by 2050 if unchecked.

Contact the press team

Eoin Bannon
Media Manager
+32 (0)487 717296 
eoin.bannon@transportenvironment.org

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