The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has urged the European Commission (EC) to correct what it views as anti-competitive aspects of its controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS). Unlike NBAA in the U.S., which has joined calls for ETS to be abandoned altogether for non-European operators, the European group supports ETS “as part of a multi-pronged approach to mitigating the rise of carbon emissions,” but is calling on the EC to ensure “fair and equitable implementation.”
EBAA’s main complaint in a January 9 statement is that ETS is being applied unfairly to business aviation in a way that makes the system more of a burden than for other modes of air transport. “On average business aircraft operators must acquire up to 96 percent of their historical emissions in permits compared with only 15 percent for airlines,” claimed EBAA, arguing that this imbalance could be corrected by further simplifying the compliance process for the so-called small emitters.
For example, EBAA is calling for Eurocontrol’s small-emitters support facility to be used for both reporting and verification, to avoid additional verification costs. It says that current costs for monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions for small emitters can amount to significantly more than the actual cost of buying permits to cover their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
EBAA also has repeated its call for the EC to raise the threshold for using the small-emitters support facility from the current level of 10,000 metric tons of CO2 to 25,000 metric tons. It continues to urge all eligible operators to use the facility to improve the accuracy of the data it looks at when calculating emissions for each aircraft type.
In response to the recent European Court of Justice ruling that the European Union’s ETS can legally be imposed on non-European operators, EBAA has said that the verdict is valid in that this does not put European operators at an unfair disadvantage.
However, EBAA remains concerned about further political fallout from this court ruling. “Unfortunately though, this only adds fuel to the fire, stirring up a range of protests,” complained the Brussels-based group. “China and the U.S. are just two prominent examples. It is questionable whether the mechanisms put in place by the Commission to enforce compliance will be robust enough to [prevail over] widespread international resistance.”