EU Emissions Trading System reduced to only intra-European flights

The EU was defeated in its efforts to have ICAO recognise its right to continue charging aviation in its own market-based mechanism, the ETS. Earl

ier this month the EU offered to exclude emissions emitted outside EU airspace from being covered by the ETS in exchange for a deal at ICAO.  Even this did not happen. “ICAO is going even beyond what the Chicago Convention allows,” said Bill Hemmings of campaign group T&E. “They’re telling the EU what it can do in its own airspace.”   A spokesperson for the Commission said the EU would have to consider its next steps. Any change to the ETS scope, whether to exclude non-EU airspace or to go further and exclude all foreign airlines, would need approval from member states and the European Parliament.  The European aviation industry would be likely to fiercely resist any move to exclude foreign airlines but leave them included, as it would raise competitiveness concerns.  Green MEPs reacted with dismay to the ICAO outcome. “The international aviation organisation (ICAO) is both seeking to block EU action and once more stalling on urgently-needed international measures”    

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ICAO rebukes EU ETS

By Dave Keating   (European Voice.com)
4.10.2013
Timeline to a global deal adopted, but resolution would ban EU ETS from including foreign airlines without mutual consent.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) committed in a resolution adopted today (4 October) in Montreal to agree a global market-based mechanism to reduce aviation emissions at its next general assembly in 2016. The new mechanism would take effect in 2020.

However the European Union was defeated in its efforts to have ICAO recognise its right to continue charging aviation in its own market-based mechanism, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). In a stinging rebuke to the EU, the ICAO resolution contains a paragraph saying that no country can include another country’s airlines in their ETS without a mutual agreement between the two.

The EU noted a reservation disagreeing with this section of the text. It is non-binding, as the EU has already justified the inclusion of foreign airlines on the basis of the 1947 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. However the EU wanted the right to include foreign airlines recognised in the ICAO text as a bulwark against Chinese and American airlines who have refused to comply.

Earlier this month the EU offered to exclude emissions emitted outside EU airspace from being covered by the ETS in exchange for a deal at ICAO. The resolution text, however, would suggest that even this is not sanctioned by the ICAO text, as any inclusion of foreign airlines would need mutual agreement. The US, which had backed the ‘airspace’ approach of the EU’s offer, pushed anyway for the resolution text which wouldn’t’ allow any inclusion of foreign airlines.

“ICAO is going even beyond what the Chicago Convention allows,” said Bill Hemmings of campaign group T&E from Montreal. “They’re telling the EU what it can do in its own airspace.”

The ICAO countries voted 97 to 39 to include this provision against the EU ETS. Some ministers presented the outcome as a defeat of the EU by India, China and America. “We are happy that multilateralism has prevailed over unilateralism,” said T.S. Tirumurti, joint secretary at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, told Bloomberg news agency. US lawmakers also cheered the rebuke to ETS.

A spokesperson for the Commission said the EU would have to consider its next steps. Any change to the ETS scope, whether to exclude non-EU airspace or to go further and exclude all foreign airlines, would need approval from member states and the European Parliament.

The European aviation industry would likely fiercely resist any move to exclude foreign airlines but leave them included, as it would raise competitiveness concerns.    Green MEPs reacted with dismay to the ICAO outcome. “Today’s outcome confirms the flaws with the EU’s strategy in freezing the implementation of emissions trading scheme for non-intra EU flights,” said Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi. “The international aviation organisation (ICAO) is both seeking to block EU action and once more stalling on urgently-needed international measures to address the growing impact of airline emissions on climate change.

“The EU must now stand firm and stick by its original plans on aviation emissions,” she added. “We should not dismantle effective climate policy instruments in exchange for a vague promise on a global scheme in the distant future without guarantees of environmental integrity or ambition.”

However Connie Hedegaard, EU commissioner for climate action, said the agreement to a future global deal is a victory for the EU, and would not have been possible without the offer for compromise. ”The EU’s hard work has paid off. After so many years of talks, ICAO has finally agreed to the first-ever global deal to curb aviation emissions”

http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2013/october/icao-rebukes-eu-ets/78346.aspx

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 Also

Weak ICAO aviation emissions deal with action delayed till at least 2016 strikes harsh blow to EU ETS

4.10.2013The ICAO talks in Montreal are now closed.  ICAO cobbled together a weak resolution, that lays the foundation for a Market Based Measure (MBM) perhaps some time in future.  This is to be brought to the next ICAO Assembly in 2016.  ie more years of delay. The resolution states that, if an agreement on a global MBM is decided upon at the next Assembly, it must be implemented by 2020 – the year after which any growth within the industry must be carbon neutral.  Jean Leston, Transport Policy Manager at WWF-UK, said: “There is nothing in this resolution that guarantees an MBM. All we’ve got is a decision to develop one over the next 3 years and then that has to go to Assembly for agreement in 2016.” Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said, “The EU put its faith in the ICAO process, and because of unacceptable weakening and delay, this faith has now been shattered.” The ICAO agreement has also decimated the EU’s ETS, which has been reduced to the  bare minimum.  The EU can now only impose its ETS on flights that both depart and land from within its own airspace.   For aircraft emissions emitted in EU airspace by planes that have come from outside the EU, this can only be done with the consent of the other country.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17730

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