Home > Editorial > Aviation to be included in EU emissions trading

Aviation to be included in EU emissions trading

An EU agreement to include aviation in the European emissions trading scheme resulted in paying up to £13 more for the price of a return flight by Airline passengers. Growth in greenhouse gas emissions from flying will have to be wiped out in the scheme which is applicable after 2012 by buying “carbon credits”. The decision to include aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme by EU ministers means emissions from aviation will be capped at 2004-06 levels. Renewable energy schemes or emission-reduction schemes will be selling credits to cover any growth. All flights between EU countries and flights taking off from or landing in an EU country, including all intercontinental flights, not simply the part of the journey in European airspace will be related with the scheme. The agreement by all 27 EU countries was acclaimed by Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, subscribing the proposal as a bold step by Europe following the Bali agreement. “I welcome this agreement, which the UK has long campaigned for. This immediate step following Bali demonstrates our commitment to making sure that aviation plays its part in tackling emissions”, said he. Delia Villagrasa, Senior Advisor at WWF’s European Policy Office, said, “This is a Christmas gift to the aviation industry which should be required to do its fair share in tackling climate change. The sector’s carbon emissions are growing by four to five per cent per year, and ministers’ failure to grapple with this is completely at odds with the European pledge to reduce emissions by 20-30 per cent by 2020”. The aviation deal was described as “feeble” by Friends of the Earth (FoE) and pressed more measures, including a tax on aviation fuel–currently zero-rated for VAT.

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