The Aviation Blog

Amendments to Peter Liese’s draft report on the European Commission’s compromise proposal for including aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme have recently been made available, with the Parliament’s Environment Committee tentatively scheduled to vote at its 30 January meeting after discussing them on 23 January.

In light of decisions taken at the ICAO Assembly last fall, the Commission had proposed continuing to limit full imposition of ETS on non-EU airlines but to factor in for emissions control purposes the distance travelled within EU airspace by all airlines whether EU-based or not. This proposal contrasted with the full imposition of ETS and with the “stop the clock” proposal adopted last spring, which suspended ETS application to all flights into or out of European airspace, for EU and non-EU carriers alike.

Liese’s draft report late in 2013 generally agreed with the Commission’s proposal, although he proposed altering it by limiting its effectiveness to 2016, when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented.

MEPs offered several amendments to Liese’s report during a debate on 17 December:

  • Rejecting the Commission’s proposal outright
  • Maintaining the current “stop the clock” derogation
  • Imposing a 50-50 emissions control model, either immediately or in 2016 should ICAO propose what the Parliament considers an inadequate solution
  • Equal treatment for commercial and non-commercial operators

Numerous MEPs supported allowing ICAO to develop a broad-based global market-based mechanism for reducing emissions. “An international ICAO agreement offers the best prospects of a sustainable long-term solution,” said Georgios Koumoutsakos.

“It would be irresponsible for the EU to unilaterally renege on the commitments it made at the last ICAO assembly in October 2013. Deciding to do this would seriously jeopardise the conclusion of a global agreement and expose the European air transport sector to retaliatory measures,” Françoise Grossetête, Christine De Veyrac, and Dominique Riquet explained as justification for several amendments.

The aviation industry supports a global framework under ICAO as the most appropriate means to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. Boeing believes as well that the best approach to reducing aviation emissions is a global approach and is of the view that the previous “stop the clock” proposal represented a pragmatic step in the direction to allow a more constructive dialogue in the ICAO negotiations towards a global sectoral agreement on aviation emissions.

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