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EU suspends aviation inclusion in ETS for international flights

ATWonline.com by Anne Paylor 12 Nov. 2012

The aviation industry has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to suspend its Emissions Trading System (ETS) for flights into and out of Europe for a period of one year to allow time for ICAO to finalize a global scheme (ATW Daily News, Oct. 1).

EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said the decision to “stop the clock” on ETS was “a gesture of good faith” taken in response to last Friday’s ICAO council meeting. That meeting agreed to initiate a high-level political process to whittle down the three options currently under consideration for a regulatory market-based mechanism (MBM) to a single preferred solution. Of particular relevance to the Commission was the council’s explicit reference to the need for a global MBM.

Hedegaard said: “Our regulatory scheme was adopted after having waited many years for ICAO to progress. Now it seems that because of some countries' dislike of our scheme many countries are prepared to move in ICAO, and even to move toward a Market Based Mechanism at global level.”

However, she stressed the EU was not willing to wait indefinitely and that if progress within ICAO was not forthcoming at next autumn’s ICAO Assembly, the inclusion of international aviation in the ETS would be reactivated.

"Let me be very clear: if this exercise does not deliver—and I hope it does, then needless to say we are back to where we are today with the EU ETS. Automatically," Hedegaard said.

She called on all parties to ICAO “to engage urgently to take advantage of the window of opportunity that the EU was offering.”

The suspension means the EU will not require allowances to be surrendered in April 2013 for emissions to and from the EU during 2012. The monitoring and reporting obligations will also be deferred for such flights. However, the obligations relating to all flights within the EU remain unchanged.

IATA DG and CEO Tony Tyler said the Commission’s decision “clearly recognizes the progress that has been made towards a global solution for managing aviation’s carbon emissions by ICAO.”

He said that details of how the suspension would be administered at a technical level remained to be clarified, and the proposal still needed ratification by EU states and Parliament. However, it reflected EU willingness to “create the space” for the ICAO process to succeed.

“The flexibility shown by the European Commission demonstrates that the ICAO process is working, and we look forward to seeing all parties working together to present positive proposals to the ICAO Assembly in September 2013,” Tyler said.

bron: www.atwonline.com

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