EU ETS aviation emissions

EU parliament extends exemption for foreign flights from carbon emissions scheme

A European Union parliamentary committee voted on Tuesday to extend the exemption of international flights from the EU’s charges for carbon emissions, but only while it awaits the implementation of last year’s worldwide United Nations deal on tackling aircraft emissions.

In February the European Commission proposed extending for an indefinite period an exemption for flights into and out of the EU from having to buy credits under its carbon emissions trading system after the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) struck a deal in October on a global market-based measure for offsetting airline emissions.

The EU had ordered carriers to buy credits for foreign flights under its emissions trading system (ETS) in 2012 but backtracked when countries said it violated their sovereignty and China threatened to cancel plane orders from Airbus Group.

It agreed to exempt international flights until the start of 2017 to give ICAO time to strike a global deal.

“It is sensible that we extend the exemption for international flights to and from the EU until there is greater clarity on the ICAO scheme,” said Julie Girling, member of the European Parliament, who is steering the legislation through the EU legislature.

”However, unlike the European Commission, I believe this exemption must be time limited so that we can be sure that the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) will deliver its objectives,” Girling said after MEPs voted on the proposal in the Environment Committee.

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EU ETS aviation emissions