European Commission (EC) proposed (16-Oct-2013) amending the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) so that aviation emissions would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace. The adjustment in the legislation would apply from 01-Jan-2014 and until a planned global market-based mechanism (MBM) becomes applicable to international aviation emissions by 2020, according to ICAO. European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: "In the light of the recent progress made at ICAO, not least thanks to Europe's hard work and determination, the European Commission today has proposed to adjust the EU ETS so that emissions from the aviation sector would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace." She added that she is "confident that the European Parliament and the Council will move swiftly and approve this proposal without delay. With this proposal, Europe is taking the responsibility to reduce emissions within its own airspace until the global measure begins".
- All emissions from flights between airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) would continue to be covered;
- From 2014 to 2020, flights to and from countries outside the EEA would benefit from a general exemption for those emissions that take place outside EEA airspace. Only emissions from the part of flights taking place within EEA airspace would be covered;
- To accommodate the special circumstances of developing countries, flights to and from third countries which are not developed countries and which emit less than 1% of global aviation emissions would benefit from a full exemption.
The EC would like to see the proposal agreed by the European Parliament and Council by Mar-2014 to provide clarity for aircraft operators, who would otherwise have to surrender allowances for their all emissions on flights in 2013 to and from third countries by 30-Apr-2014. [more - original PR]