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MEPs vote for new EU aviation emissions trading
Article Type: News and views From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 2.
The aviation sector recently moved a step closer to being included in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme as a result of a vote in the European Parliament. The proposed new rules are part of the EU's overall strategy to tackle climate change. MEPs adopted a series of amendments to the proposal from the European Commission, including:
International flights to and from EU airports as well as intra-EU flights to be included in the Scheme from the start.
A start date of 2011 (compared to a Commission proposal of 2011 and 2012, respectively, for intra-EU and external flights).
More stringent CO2 limits, based on 90 per cent of average annual emissions over the period 2004-2006 (rather than 100 per cent proposed by the Commission).
A further reduction of 20 per cent or 30 per cent in the targets subject to agreement on a post-2012 regime internationally.
That 25 per cent of the allocation of emissions permits be auctioned.
That government flights should not be exempted from the Scheme. However, MEPs voted to exclude all military flights from the scope of the scheme.
The Emissions Trading Scheme allocates a number of permits to operators, each permit allowing the emission of one tonne of carbon dioxide per year. The total number of permits sets a limit on the overall emissions. Some permits are allocated to operators free of charge; others are auctioned allowing emission reductions to be made where they are most cost-effective.
This is the 1st reading in the codecision procedure where the European Parliament has equal powers with the Council of Ministers. Unless the Council accepts all amendments adopted by MEPs at 1st reading, the proposals will return for a 2nd reading at a late stage.