The European Parliament approved on Wednesday (11 September) a plan to keep commercial flights in and out of Europe exempt from the EU’s carbon emission controls until 2021, in a move likely to be welcomed by the aviation industry.
MEPs signed off on a report by Tory MEP Julie Girling, environment coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), which extends the exemption until 2021, when the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) is due to introduce a global carbon offsetting scheme for the sector, CORSIA, capping emissions at 2020 levels.
Aviation emissions account for about 3% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and are one of the fastest growing sources of CO2. The EU was the world’s first region to address CO2 emissions from international aviation when it included all flights landing and departing from Europe in its EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2012.
But the application of the scheme to international flights was suspended in order to appease growing opposition from the US, China and other foreign countries, and allow time for the ICAO to develop emission-reduction measures at the global level.
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