12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Comments made by the EU about its Emissions Trading Scheme(ETS) for aviation are “grossly misleading”, the Association of European Airlines (AEA) said.
It made the accusation against the EU’s climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard who said that airlimnes would benefit from €20bn worth of free carbon permits.
Hedegaard said that fess airlines would receive in the decade after aviation joined the ETS next January, amounted to revenues which could be used for fleet modernisation.
In an angry statement, the AEA, which represents most major Euroepan carriers, said her statement had “caused uproar.”
Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, the Association’s general secretary, said: “To refer to carbon permits as revenue is totally absurd. This is simply not true. The allocated certificates have to be surrendered; this is not money which airlines can re-invest.”
His outburst is the latest is a growing chorus of opposition to the EU’s controversial scheme to cap C02 emissions.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday (September 27) called on the EU to abandon plans to include aviation in the ETS.
Steve Ridgway, ceo of Virgin Atlantic and the new AEA chairman, has also voiced worries over aspects of ETS.
Ridgway said he was “concerned” that the “success of aviation’s inclusion in the EU ETS risks being undermined.”
There was an anti-EU ETS bill in the US and speculation that China, which strongly opposes the scheme, might somehow retaliate. Ridgway said it was also necessary to understand the Russian view.
Earlier Schulte-Strathaus said the EU faced the “serious risk of some sort of retaliation” if it persisted with its scheme.
Under the scheme, airlines flying to or from Europe will be required to buy permits for 15% of the carbon emissions they produce in the year.
But the AEA said the EU was capping emissions below 2004-2006 levels.
It said: “Initially it will grant 82% of the permits that airlines would have needed in 2004-06 for free, while the remaining 18% must be bought at auction or from other sectors.
“This means that even if an airline maintained its emissions at 2004-06 levels, it would still need to buy that remaining 18%. But the industry has grown since 2004-06, widening that shortfall.”
Two other figures representing airline interests have also joined the criticism.
Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association, said: “The Commission has got this completely wrong. Far from profiting from the scheme, an average airline will need to acquire 27% of its permits from the market.
“Contrary to the Commission’s statement, this will hamper industry investment in new technologies and biofuels.”
Sylviane Lust, director general of the Air Carrier Association, said: “Companies depend on air links to do business. Adding costs against a backdrop of economic uncertainty will only hinder the recovery.”