EU ETS update - ICAO working on global market-based approachby Peter Diehm on 2012-11-30 01:10:19
About two weeks ago the European Union suspended (or delayed for the meantime) it’s Aviation Emissions Rules as reported by many different news outlets.
Please see the EU posting regarding this measure below. My comment regarding this is that I can understand the concerns other non-European countries and their airlines had regarding getting “charged” for the emissions of the total distance of their flights into the European Union.
For example for a flight from New York to Frankfurt the emissions would have been counted from the start in New York, flying through U.S. airspace, then flying over the Atlantic in International airspace and then for the distance flying in European airspace. Even as emissions are not stopping at International borders this could be seen as not fair as part of the flight was outside the jurisdiction of the European Union.
It also would have been a competitive disadvantage if only European airlines would have been charged for it in regards of transporting cargo or passengers. Myself I welcomed the idea of the EU to make airlines control and reduce their emissions for the benefit of the environment.
As we now can see this has helped to get the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) moving to find a global solution and that is really what is needed. I have the feeling this was what the European Union had in mind right from the start and that’s why their stand was first so hard on this. Let’s hope by next fall a world wide solution is coming closer.
The EU ETS website posting:
12 November 2012 Commission proposes to 'stop the clock' on international aviation in the EU ETS pending 2013 ICAO General Assembly
The European Commission today proposed that the European Union defer the requirement for airlines to surrender emission allowances for flights into and out of Europe until after the 2013 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly next autumn. This initiative follows the very positive discussions that took place last week in the ICAO Council on a global market-based approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.
'Stopping the clock' on the implementation of the international aspects of aviation under the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) means that the EU would not require allowances to be surrendered in April 2013 for emissions to and from the EU during 2012. The monitoring and reporting obligations will also be deferred for such flights. The obligations relating to all operators' activities within the EU will remain intact and compliance with the EU law will be enforced in this respect.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said:
"The EU has always been very clear: nobody wants an international framework tackling CO2 emissions from aviation more than we do. Our EU legislation is not standing in the way of this. On the contrary, our regulatory scheme was adopted after having waited many years for ICAO to progress. Now it seems that because of some countries' dislike of our scheme many countries are prepared to move in ICAO, and even to move towards a Market Based Mechanism (MBM) at global level.
"Very good news came from the ICAO Council last Friday. I've just recommended in a telephone conference with the 27 Member States that the EU "stops the clock" when it comes to enforcement of the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS to and from non-European countries until after the ICAO General Assembly next autumn."
Commissioner Hedegaard added: "Let me be very clear: if this exercise does not deliver – and I hope it does - then needless to say we are back to where we are today with the EU ETS. Automatically." However, she called on all Parties to ICAO to engage urgently to take advantage of the window of opportunity that the EU was offering.
On 9 November, the ICAO Council had further discussions on a global approach for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation. The ICAO Council decided to initiate a high-level political process to reduce the present three options for a regulatory market-based mechanism. In particular, the Council explicitly referred to the global MBM that the world now needs to agree.
Source: European Commission / Climate Action / Newsroom