Sunday

25th Aug 2019

EU agrees to reduce airline emissions from 2012

EU environment ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday (20 December) agreed that restrictions should be put on carbon dioxide emissions from air planes from 2012.

Under the proposal, all airlines coming to and leaving the EU bloc of 27 member states, as well as intra-EU flights - will be included in an emission trading scheme, something that has already been applied to other polluting sectors in the Union.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Airlines would be able to meet pollution-reduction quotas either by reducing their own emissions or buying credits from other industries.

Several environment ministers welcomed the proposal, pointing to the symbolic effect of the decision just after an international climate change meeting in Bali last week in which the EU took a strong position in persuading other countries to commit to long-term green goals.

"This is a bold step by Europe - in the week after the Bali agreement - which shows the EU leading in the fight against dangerous climate change," said Hilary Benn, British Environment Secretary.

But green groups and MEPs in the European parliament have strongly criticised the deal for being too week, with the aviation sector the fastest growing pollutant source in the transport sector.

The share of transport in carbon dioxide emissions was 21 percent in 1990, but had grown to 27 percent by 2005.

"If environment ministers get their way, the scheme simply won't cut emissions, and will end up being yet another subsidy to the aviation industry. It's a shameful end to a year filled with promise for action on climate change," said João Vieira, of green lobby group Transport and Environment.

"This is a Christmas gift to the aviation industry which should be required to do its fair share in tackling climate change," said the WWF.

Meanwhile, deputies in the European Parliament are angry that the ministers watered down their proposal and vowed to make them toughen it up when the legislation passes through the EU assembly for a second time next year.

MEPs had proposed that the scheme start in 2011 and also suggested that the greater climate impact of aviation - when compared to ground sources - should be reflected in the trading scheme.

EU deputies also said restrictions should be tight enough to force airlines to reduce their emissions rather than just buy pollution credits from other sectors.

"The European Parliament as co-legislator will not accept that this weak decision comes

into force unchanged", said Peter Liese, German centre-right MEP in charge of the dossier in the EU assembly.

Although it is too weak for some, the proposal is still likely to rile the US which has threatened the EU with legal action if it pushes ahead with the plans.

In addition, it comes just a day after the European Commission sparked controversy by proposing that all new cars must cut CO2 emissions by 2012 or face fines.

News in Brief

  1. Ocean Viking to disembark in Malta after ordeal
  2. Germany joins France in world outcry on Brazil fires
  3. British people lose faith in Brexit deal
  4. Brexit hardliners want further changes to EU deal
  5. German manufacturers confirm fear of recession
  6. Belgian socialists and liberals scrap over EU post
  7. Fall in EU migration leading to UK skills shortages
  8. Switzerland makes post-Brexit flight preparations

Investigation

The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade

Around 30 members of European Economic Social Committee, who live and work primarily in Brussels or nearby, have claimed €1.47m in a 'daily subsistence' allowance from European taxpayers to cover accommodation, food and local transport for meetings held in Brussels.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Spain heading for yet another general election
  2. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  3. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  4. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  5. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  6. EU considers new rules on facial recognition
  7. EU to pledge Africa security funds at G7 summit
  8. Letter from the EESC on per diem article

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us