Europe keeps the pressure on international aviation industry to reduce emissions

Dec 12, 2017


MEPs today endorsed an agreement that will continue to see international flights in and out of Europe exempted from the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) until 2023. ECR MEP Julie Girling was the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the agreement and has welcomed the deal that maintains the status quo that will still see internal flights within the EU coming under the ETS and contributing to emissions reductions on an annual basis.

Mrs. Girling successfully proposed introducing a time limit for the exemption that will see it lapse on 31 December 2023. With the International Civil Aviation Authority due to introduce a global carbon offsetting scheme for the sector in 2021, the time limit will enable lawmakers to assess whether the global scheme makes an effective contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and possibly amend the provisions of the ETS accordingly. Increases in air traffic will mean that CO2 emissions in 2050 are likely to be seven to ten times higher than in 1990 therefore it is crucial that action is taken to reduce their impact on climate change.

Speaking after the parliament endorsed her report, Girling said:

“We’re still waiting for clarity on how the new global scheme will help reduce emissions from international flights so it was important to maintain the status quo on international flights.

 “The aviation sector needs to do more to cut emissions, in line with other heavy emitters. Putting a time limit on their exemption from the EU’s carbon market until 2023 will provide an important opportunity to assess the progress of the new global scheme.”