Today, the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament (TRAN) voted with a large majority in favour of a reasonable compromise on the aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). AEA now counts on the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) and especially the lead Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) to follow the position of their TRAN colleagues.
In autumn last year, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed on a roadmap to develop a global market-based measure to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation, for adoption at the next ICAO Assembly in 2016. This agreement had been facilitated by the EU’s decision to exclude international flights from ETS in 2012 (“Stop the clock”). Following the agreement in ICAO, the European Commission presented a proposal that reduces the original scope of the ETS to cover all flights within European airspace, despite the fact that such a concept was rejected at the ICAO assembly last year. Currently, the three Committees in the European Parliament are discussing the Commission’s proposal.
The decision taken by the transport specialists demonstrates their understanding of the fact that European airlines could be exposed to retaliatory measures from third countries in their day-to-day operations and business development. At the same time, TRAN members showed their support for the approach taken at ICAO level. “The aviation ETS must not hamper the progress at ICAO towards a global agreement on reducing emissions from international aviation”, says AEA’s CEO Athar Husain Khan.
AEA welcomes that TRAN restricts the scope of aviation ETS to flights within the European Economic Area. This move reduces the risk of international controversy and confirms that global issues such as emissions from international aviation need a global solution. However, uncertainty remains about the situation in the years 2017 up to 2020. As airlines need long term planning stability, AEA urges ITRE and ENVI to provide such clarity.
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ABOUT AEA: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 30 European established scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry nearly 400 million passengers and 5,5 million tonnes of cargo each year, operating 2,550 aircraft serving 600 destinations in 170 countries with 11,000 flights a day. They provide around 370,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of €100 billion.