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International Air Carrier Association (IACA) has pleaded for the European Council to stick to its guns after the European Parliament”s Environment Committee (ENVI) voted yesterday (27 May) to bring forward aviation”s inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by a year.
While Council ministers last year decided that carbon emission quotas would be imposed on the industry from 2012, Committee members want to switch that to 2011 for flights departing or landing in the 27 EU member states (and intercontinental operations the following year).
ENVI also voted ” by 54 to four, with one abstention ” for airlines to buy 25% of their CO2 credits rather than the 10% suggested by the Council. From 2013 this would be ”increased according to the maximum level of auctioning in other ETS sectors,” said a statement.
Finally, it asked for the cap on emissions ” proposed at the 2004-2006 level, a target already considered tough by the industry - to be lowered by 10%, and to be reduced further still from 2013.
IACA director general Sylviane Lust said: ”IACA is appalled at the extremism of the ENVI Committee in adopting such a radical ETS design. The combination of the prospect of 100% auctioning from 2013, a multiplier and a de facto closed trading system makes it a destructive package for airlines.
”Voting for such a scheme in the context of today”s high fuel prices and economic downturn is a sign of ignorance, or denial, of the economic realities facing airlines today. ENVI Committee has voted for a scheme without any effort to research or examine the full impact such an extreme design will have on airlines.”
German MEP ” rapporteur for the Committee ” indicated the possible impact on ticket prices of their recommendations. On flights within the EU fares could rise by up to ”10 each way if all costs are passed on to passengers, and up to ”40 on intercontinental services.
Lust called on the European Council to ”hold firm” on their position which already sets ”ambitious targets” for the airline sector to address its environmental responsibilities.
ENVI said revenue raised from carriers should be channelled into ” among other things ” other modes of transport such as trains and buses, research on lessening aviation”s environmental footprint, and assisting developing countries to reduce emissions.
Committee member Peter Liese said agreement with the Council should be reached within weeks ” the crunch vote on the report is due in July.