New European Bickering Marks Latest ETS Chapter

By Cathy Buyck
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Peter Liese, a member of the EP's environmental committee (ENVI) who is steering the proposal through parliament, supports the EC's proposal and says he will not recommend the EP “limit any compromise to a prolongation of the stop the clock.” The inclusion of all flights taking off and landing in Europe for the part that they operate in European airspace “is indispensable. This is a matter of fairness against European airlines and their competitive situation,” Liese notes in an explanatory statement to his proposals to be considered by other members of the EP (MEPs).

The German MEP will propose an amendment to limit the airspace approach until 2016 and to reintroduce the full ETS (which regulated emissions of the entire length of flights to, from or between EEA airports) from 2017. He deems this “reasonable” because there is no guarantee a legally binding pact for global aviation will be adopted in ICAO in 2016. If one is reached, the EU should be ready to modify the legislation accordingly.

Liese intends also to include an amendment lowering the level of free emissions that airlines receive, to 60% from 85% now. He argues this is justified because the airspace approach reduces the emissions covered by the ETS to 40% compared with the original scheme and, he says, this will “limit the damage [of aviation] for the environment.”

Liese further warns he will not start discussions with the council on the European airspace legislative proposal unless all member states implement the “very limited” stop-the-clock legislation. Chinese and Indian carriers are refusing to comply and have not surrendered allowances for their 2012 flights inside Europe. It is the responsibility of the member states to enact the legislation, but member states overseeing the Indian and Chinese airlines are hesitant to take legal action or to repeal the traffic rights of the recalcitrant airlines.

The vote in the ENVI committee is set for Jan. 30 and the final full vote is scheduled for April. The goal is to get the new EU ETS legislation, in whatever form, in the official EU journal before the legislative term of the EP ends and the original full scope ETS for international aviation reactivates.

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