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TIACA sounds off in EU's Emissions Trading Scheme debate

By Staff Reports on February 13, 2014
tagged eu, tiaca

The European Parliament Environment Committee voted in favor of the European Commission proposal to include within the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) the portion of international flights in EU airspace, until the International Civil Aviation Organization develops the mechanisms for a global market-based measure (MBM).

Despite The International Air Cargo Association's efforts and those of many other organizations, the rapporteur Peter Liese MEP (Centre-right, Germany) succeeded in negotiating compromise amendments with political groups that maintained the Commission proposal. The main features of the report adopted by the Environment Committee are:

  • Emissions within EU airspace will be included in the ETS from 2014 until 2016 (versus 2020 in the Commission proposal).
  • The Commission would be required to assess progress at the ICAO Assembly in 2016 toward a global MBM. Should ICAO succeed, the Commission would propose new legislation for the period until 2020 when a global MBM would come into effect, or otherwise revert to the inclusion in the ETS of the entirety of all flights to and from the EU.
  • Emissions allowances would be surrendered from April 2015, rather than April 2014, thereby “stopping the clock” for a further year, in order to make technical preparations for the airspace approach and seek the consent of third countries for including their airlines in the scheme.
  • The ENVI vote also called for money raised from emissions allowances to be earmarked by member states for investment in sustainability of the transport industry, reflecting a longstanding industry concern.

The Committee voted to grant Liese a mandate for informal negotiations with the Council (the 28 member states) and Commission, with a view to quickly arriving at a compromise text before the deadline of April 2014 for surrendering emissions allowances. Trilogues, informal meetings, are already scheduled for Feb. 18 and March 4, with a potential third round of negotiations afterward. Liese hopes for a text to be voted on in ENVI at the end of March, to be put to a plenary vote in April.

Through its representative in Brussels, TIACA will maintain outreach to the Council to argue for the rejection of the airspace approach.