Although the intentions were good, in reality rolling out the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS)–considered a cornerstone of the European Union’s policy to combat climate change and the key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective manner–to international aviation has backfired spectacularly.
Climate change policy
NBAA lauded the European Council’s move to continue to “stop the clock” on further implementation of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), while ICAO representatives work on a plan to address aircraft emissions worldwide. The EC agreed last Monday to extend the “stop the clock” provision affecting non-European operators until the fall of 2016, when representatives at the next ICAO Assembly are expected to move forward on an international framework for both technological and market-based emissions-curbing measures for the industry.
As the April deadline approaches for European policymakers to decide whether to extend the Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to international operators again, a significant step has been taken in the opposite direction.
Despite an apparent historic consensus at the ICAO Triennial Assembly in Montreal in early October to develop a global market-based mechanism for managing aircraft emissions, the European Commission (EC) has pressed ahead with plans to implement its emissions trading scheme (ETS) in the meantime.
The European Commission is proposing for its existing emissions trading scheme (ETS) amendments 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 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.
NBAA, GAMA and other aviation alphabet groups are backing the general principles of an aircraft-emissions policy accepted by 185 ICAO member states on Friday at a triennial meeting in Montreal. These principles are now being handed over to ICAO working groups, whose work product will be proposed for adoption in 2016 at the next triennial meeting. If adopted, the resulting document would be implemented in 2020.
Opponents of Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) seemed to have gotten the best of a deal reached at the general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that should lead to a global market-based mechanism (MBM) for curbing aircraft emissions by 2020. On October 4, the assembly endorsed a plan agreed late the previous day by ICAO’s executive committee calling for a detailed plan for the cap-and-trade MBM to be agreed at the UN body’s next general assembly ahead of full implementation in 2020.
All aviation eyes were turned toward Montreal early this month as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) tries to get its arms around a worldwide plan to control jet aircraft emissions.
The big question is whether ICAO’s 191 member states can agree on a plan to curb emissions to the satisfaction of the European Union (EU), which has unilaterally crafted its own emissions trading scheme (ETS) that would capture not only EU aircraft, but also airplanes flying into, out of and through the 28 EU member states.
Responding to member feedback, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has clarified the organization’s position on any potential aircraft emissions deals under consideration at the two-week-long, triennial ICAO assembly that started yesterday. Earlier this week, NBAA said it welcomed signs that a proposal under consideration at ICAO might lead to a global compromise solution to addressing aircraft carbon emissions.
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