European Parliament vote to include international flights in Europe"™s carbon market

Today (11 July), the European Parliament"™s environment committee voted to include international flights in Europe"™s carbon market from 2021 onwards. Lawmakers also took small steps towards making the aviation industry pay more for its impact on the climate.

The committee was voting on aviation"™s future role under the EU"™s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) following a decision adopted last year by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to set up a global offsetting scheme. The lead reporter was Julie Girling MEP (ECR, UK).

The lawmakers agreed to exempt international flights until 2020, as proposed by the European Commission, but voted to bring them back under the EU ETS from 1 January 2021, unless otherwise decided in a review comparing the EU ETS with the international agreement.

Kelsey Perlman, Aviation Policy Officer at Carbon Market Watch welcomed the vote: "The effectiveness of aviation"™s global scheme is under scrutiny due to its weak target, voluntary nature and reliance on offsets. Today, EU lawmakers sent a strong signal that an ineffective international deal should not be allowed to undermine Europe"™s climate action at home."

The committee voted to increase the share of pollution permits that the airlines have to buy from 15% to 50%, earmarking the generated revenues for financing climate related projects.

Girling said: "It is sensible that we extend the exemption for international flights to and from the EU until there is greater clarity on the ICAO scheme. However, unlike the European Commission, I believe this exemption must be time limited so that we can be sure that the Carbon Offsetting Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will deliver its objective"…

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