The European Commission is proposing amendments to its existing emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) that would confirm the continued exemption from the cap-and-trade system for flights outside the airspace of the 28 European Union member states, as well as European economic area states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The follows an agreement reached on October 4 by the general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that should lead to a global market-based mechanism for curbing aircraft emissions by 2020.
Yesterday, the EC said the revised EU-ETS rules will take effect in January, even though it may take until March for the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers to formally ratify the legislative change. Flights within EU airspace will continue to be subject to ETS, but the EC has announced some new exemptions for small emitters that might give relief for some business aviation operators.
The new EC proposals include a complete exemption from EU-ETS for non-commercial aircraft operators emitting less than 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The EC is also proposing new simplified procedures for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions for commercial and non-commercial operators with fewer than 25,000 metric tons of annual emissions. EU states will also be permitted to allow even more simplified compliance procedures for non-commercial operators with fewer than 25,000 metric tons of emissions.