From 2006 December

European airlines gave their tepid support to the proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS) revealed by the European Union yesterday, while the U.S. industry roundly criticized the plan.

Under the European Commission proposal, all intra-European flights will need to participate, beginning in 2011. The plan will be extended to all flights that operate out of the EU from 2012. The plan could create a net carbon savings of 46% -- or 183 million metric tons -- by 2020, the EC said in a statement.

The aviation sector is responsible for 3% of the total EU greenhouse gas output, but aviation's share has grown by 87% since 1990 as the cost of air travel has fallen. Aviation's share of the EU's total greenhouse gas output is expected to double by 2020, and without ETS, the EU claims it may find it difficult to achieve the emissions reductions targets outlined by the Kyoto Protocol.

European low-cost carriers represented by the European Low Fares Airline Association applauded the draft ETS proposal but called for the EC to eliminate the one-year grace period for long-haul flights serving the EU. Limiting ETS to intra-EU flights will address only 20% of the aviation sector's contribution to EU carbon emissions, ELFAA argued. "It is unfair and discriminatory that long-haul airlines, who are the biggest polluters, would not have to pay the cost of their emissions," the group said in a statement.

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Topics of Interest

The European Commission said it "intends to make a specific legislative proposal" on the integration of aviation into the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme "within the next few months." A new,...

The European Parliament and European Council face a busy few weeks as they try to bridge differences over airline emissions trading, with big implications for financially struggling airlines. Although...

Although its plans to include aviation in its emissions trading scheme has been widely criticized, the European Union is not alone in pressing the case for cap-and-trade systems, working papers filed...

The European Parliament this week is expected to approve a compromise that includes aviation in emissions trading, although airlines, some regulators and the green lobby are unhappy with the deal...

Europe is struggling to define the rules about including aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS), with several difficult months still ahead as stakeholders battle over the terms and conditions.