Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme agreed by the European Parliament. Peter Liese MEP
The European Parliament has endorsed the inclusion of aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by a vast majority. MEPs voted by 640 to 30 for the adoption of the new Directive today. "The agreement in the field of aviation is an important signal for the forthcoming negotiations on the Commission's huge climate and energy package which is to be concluded before the end of the year", said Peter Liese MEP, the European Parliament Rapporteur.
From 2012 onwards, airlines will be forced to either reduce their emissions of climate-damaging gases or buy emission allowances. These permits will no longer be allocated according to historical emissions and national allocation plans but in accordance with European criteria based on a harmonised benchmark. About 85% of the allowances will be allocated for free, 15% will be auctioned.
The money generated by auctioning should be spent to mitigate climate change. However, Member States are free to decide whether they invest most of the money in research, for example in clean aircraft, measures in third world countries, or in the support of low emissions transport. Liese continued: "I commit myself to the relief of consumers using low emissions transport like buses or railway. It is unacceptable to me that buses and trains are subject to eco taxes. In times of high fuel prices, this is the first point to act on."
The new Directive aims at the inclusion not only of European airlines, but also of intercontinental flights starting and landing in the EU. Liese concluded: "This can be considered a revolution because until now we have not yet included products from third countries. We are striving for an international agreement but we will have to wait until the US has elected a new President called John McCain or Barack Obama who takes climate protection seriously."
(Translation of the original German)
For further information:
Peter Liese MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-177981
Thomas Bickl, EPP-ED Press Service, Tel: +32-478-215372
Notes to Editors:
The EPP-ED Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 288 Members from all 27 Member States.