Peter Liese criticizes International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO / aviation lobby wants to destroy EU emissions trading / Debate in the ENVI committee on Wednesday


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), actually a specialized agency of the United Nations, does not only do very little to implement climate protection measures but is now even torpedoing climate protection. "Already in 1997, the ICAO was given the task of regulating climate protection within the international air traffic as stated in the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately, since then, only very little has been done. Now, they are discussing a draft for an international agreement called CORSIA, which is completely unambitious. The only obligation is to achieve "carbon-neutral growth" by 2020. After that, however, the emissions, which are standard until 2020, remained completely unconsidered. For every additional ton of CO2, the airlines are supposed to carry out so-called offset measures. These are climate protection measures implemented elsewhere in order to compensate the aircrafts’ emissions. The rules on the quality of these offset measures are extremely weak and do not guarantee adequate climate protection," says the Member of the European Parliament and spokesman on environment of the biggest political group in the European Parliament (EPP- Christian Democrats), Dr. Peter Liese.



To make matters worse, ICAO representatives recently proposed to abolish marked-based climate instruments, since CORSIA is supposed to be a global system. This would mean that the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) in air traffic could not only be weakened but completely abolished.
"I consider this a scandal. The UN Secretary-General always preaches that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of humanity and that greenhouse gases will have to be reduced urgently. Since 2012, the air traffic has been included in the EU’s emissions trading, which has indeed been positive for the climate. This mechanism saves 30 million tons of CO2 every year. Instead of abolishing the ETS, we need to strengthen the system. Until this date, airlines receive 85 % of the certificates for free, and they are only required to purchase 15 %. This is completely unjustified, especially if comparing the situation to the railway sector, which is included in emissions trading through electricity consumption by 100 %" explains Liese. Strengthening emissions trading is also one of the priorities of the new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. "Therefore, we will discuss this with the representatives of the European Commission in the committee this week and raise the issue," Liese.

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