EU-ETS ‘Small Emitter’ Tool To Be Expanded
The European Commission is preparing to allow more aircraft operators to use the simplified compliance procedure for its controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS). Under revised rules for monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which are due to be approved in the middle of next month, the so-called “small emitter” threshold below which aircraft can use simplified compliance methods would be raised from 10,000 metric tons of CO2 per year to 25,000 tons and this option would be extended to commercial operators. An alternative exemption of fewer than 243 flights in three consecutive four-month periods would continue to apply for both commercial and private operators. According to Neil Duffy, technical manager with UK-based ETS verifier ICM ETS, the main beneficiaries of the change will be executive charter operators falling within a CO2 emissions threshold of between 10,000 and 25,000 metric tons. Generally these will be operators based in Europe, or close to Europe. Currently, only private operators falling beneath the 10,000-ton threshold or any operator meeting the less-than-243 flight requirement qualify as small emitters. The new rules will not take effect until 2013, meaning that emissions monitoring for this year and next will have to be conducted according to the current rules. The European Business Aviation Association, which has been pushing the EC to raise the threshold to at least 50,000 tons, welcomed the draft rule.