Agreement on proposal for emission trading / Aviation will have to contribute more to climate mitigation

The EU institutions have agreed on amendments to the ETS Directive late Wednesday evening. The main purpose of the Commission proposal that has been agreed with major amendments is the contribution of aviation to climate mitigation policy. But Parliament, Council and Commission used the opportunity to clarify the Directive and prepare for the event that there is no agreement with the British government on the modalities of the Brexit. "We very much hope that we find a good agreement with the British government and especially in climate and energy policy, for us, it would be the preferred option that the UK continues participation in EU polices. I appreciate that British industry is in favour of this solution but the hardliner in London may make such an agreement impossible. That´s why we have to prepare ourselves for a hard Brexit. We need to protect the environment and the competiveness of the industry in the EU 27 “, said Peter Liese, environmental spokesman of the biggest parliamentary group (EPP-Christian democrats).The Commission will be authorized to label the UK certificates and in case of a hard Brexit they will be invalidated.

The main purpose of the agreement is to update the rules for aviation in the ETS. The EU reacts on the developments at the International Civil aviation organization ICAO which works on a global climate scheme for aviation (CORSIA). The agreement foresees to limit aviation ETS for intra-European flights until the end 2023. At that time, the pilot phase of the CORSIA will end and the European Union will assess how effective this international agreement will protect the environment. If no amendment to the legislation is adopted the EU ETS will cover also international flights from that date. “We are not very much convinced that the ICAO agreement will deliver enough benefits for the climate, but we want to support the process and put pressure on international partners rather than give in too early”, Liese said.
For intra-European flights the rules will be more ambitious from 2021 onwards. The aviation industry will be subject to the linear reduction factor of 2.2 percent like any other industry in the future. Until now, they only had to reduce their emissions by 5 percent compared to the base period. In the next review that will already happen one year after the entering into force of this proposal the Commission will also propose to increase the auctioning share to get a better alignment with other sectors. "We have to look in particular at the competitiveness between aviation and railway. Even though the train is more environmental friendly than airways, the burden from the ETS for railway is bigger than for aviation. It is good that all institutions now agree to look at this problem and find a solution," concluded Liese.