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.
New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme
President Barack Obama closed the legislative loop on U.S. refusal to comply with the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on November 27, when he signed S.1956, legislation that orders the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the carbon tax plan. The legislation also calls for the government “to conduct international negotiations to pursue a worldwide approach to address aircraft emissions.”
Asian air transport industry leaders yesterday signaled European Commission vice president Siim Kallas that they will step up their war against the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). But Kallas held firm, telling the Singapore Airshow’s Aviation Leadership Summit that while the EU is willing to negotiate over how ETS applies to airlines outside Europe, it will do so only on its own terms and is in no hurry to give ground.
Airlines that will be subject to Europe’s new emissions trading scheme (ETS) beginning in January 2012 should start verifying their recorded emissions for 2010 as early as next month, according to ETS experts. Even though emissions reports covering 2010 do not need to be submitted to European Union member state authorities until the end of March 2011, this first-time verification process could prove tricky.
Worried that some small operators have not considered the ramifications of the European Union emissions-trading scheme (ETS), the European Regions Airline Association is moving to raise awareness. As the industry prepares for integration of air transport into the ETS in 2012, airlines have only until next June to claim free carbon allowances.