Some business aviation and smaller airline operators are facing the prospect of fines for failing to meet the European Union’s April 30 deadline for submitting carbon credits under the emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to carbon trading specialist CF Partners. Although the European Commission agreed last November to suspend the application of ETS for flights to and from points outside the EU, the cap-and-trade scheme still applies to flights between EU airports, even for operators based outside the EU.
Operators face fines of €100 ($130) per metric ton of carbon for every credit not submitted by the April 30 deadline. By contrast, carbon credits are currently trading on the European market at just €4.25 ($5.52) per metric ton.
The April 30 deadline is for submitting credits to cover carbon emitted on flights between EU airports during 2012. Credits have to be submitted via an approved EU registry account, and setting up this alone can take 30 days. According to Finn Payne, head of the aviation unit at London-based CF Partners, “a significant number of smaller operators remain ill-prepared and unlikely to submit the necessary credits in time.”