Vandaag stemde de EP-commissie Milieu over het al dan niet onderbrengen van de luchtvaart in het systeem van emissiehandel. Hoewel niet zo ambitieus als een resolutie die ruim een jaar geleden werd aangenomen (meer informatie), gaan het EP verder dan het zwakke voorstel van de Europese Commissie.
Luchtvaartmaatschappijen onderhevig maken aan zo'n systeem heeft het voordeel dat ze de volledige verantwoordelijkheid over hun uitstoot moeten dragen. Het is evenwel jammer dat de EP-commissie niet verder wil gaan dan een gedeelte van de uitstoot.
Het mag niet zijn dat de grootste vervuilers zich zomaar 'uitkopen'. Het is een goede zaak dat de EP-commissie Milieu limieten stelt aan de hoeveelheden die gekocht kunnen worden.
Airlines and climate change
MEPs vote for measures to bring airline emissions in check
Following today's vote in the EP Environment Committee on a legislative report to bring the aviation industry into the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, Green MEP and rapporteur for the EP's original opinion on aviation and climate change Caroline Lucas stated:
"The EP Environment Committee has voted to bring the ever-growing emissions from airlines in check. While the report is not as ambitious as the EP's original opinion, which it adopted last year (1) , MEPs have succeeded in significantly improving (what was) a weak proposal from the European Commission. With airlines the fastest growing source of climate-damaging emissions, it is crucial that the EU adopts robust measures to reduce these emissions as soon as possible.
"Past experience shows that unless allowances are auctioned, sectors like aviation - which can pass the cost on to their consumers - will only gain windfall profits from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Clearly only a full auctioning of permits would ensure this is avoided and that airlines are made fully responsible for their emissions; thus we regret that MEPs did not support full auctioning. However, the Committee has voted for auctioning of half of the emissions permits, which is certainly a marked improvement from the Commission's proposal. Furthermore, the Committee has voted to take more account of the non-CO2 impact of aviation (which can be up to 4 times greater than the impact of CO2 emissions alone) by introducing a multiplier on CO2 emissions (2) if alternative measures are not brought forward.
"Entry into the Emissions Trading Scheme cannot just be an excuse for the worst offending airlines to buy their way out of trouble and continue with a business as usual approach to their damaging emissions. In this regard, it is most welcome that MEPs have voted to limit the possibility for airlines to buy permits from other industry sectors that would allow airlines to increase their emissions. Trading with other sectors should not be manipulated by the aviation industry to enable it to pay for the 'right' increase its pollution.
"The Environment Committee also proposed a significantly stricter initial permit allocation to the aviation industry than the original Commission proposal (3) . While it is still more generous than that of other sectors or the Kyoto protocol commitment, it does at least imply an actual reduction in emissions."
(1) The original EP report on aviation and climate change, adopted in June 2006, called for a separate Emissions Trading Scheme for the aviation industry, with rigorous caps and full auctioning of permits.
(2) The full climate impact of airlines (taking into account the climate damage caused by vapour trails and nitrogen oxide emissions, among other factors) can be up to 4 times greater than the impact of CO2 emissions alone. For this reason, the EP supported an amendment to ensure that airlines participation in the ETS is on the basis of a multiplier, multiplying the CO2 impact by 2 to calculate the cost of airlines' NOx emissions, with the possibility of extending this to the impact of vapour trails in the future.
(3) The Environment Committee voted to allow airlines an initial allocation equivalent to 75% of their average emissions over the period 2004-6. This falls short of what is required of other industry sectors, for which 1990 is the baseline year for calculating emissions reductions, however is nonetheless an improvement on the Commission proposal, which proposed giving airlines an allocation of 100% of their average 2004-6 emissions.