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Ireland pushes for quick aviation carbon emissions solution

09 Jan 2013 18:42:16 | edcm

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The Irish government wants to facilitate an early deal with the European Parliament over including international aviation emissions in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) during its presidency of the EU, while a key rapporteur warned that a deal must come within 2013.

In November 2102, the European Commission asked for a one-year delay on the inclusion of flights that are not wholly within the EU in the bloc's ETS, in order to wait for the outcome of the general triennial assembly meeting of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in autumn this year (see EDCM 12 November 2012).

"The legislative proposal will be given priority by the presidency, with a view to reaching an early agreement with the European Parliament," the Irish presidency said in its programme.

But on Wednesday, a report by Peter Liese, the European Parliament's rapporteur on emissions, warned about the consequences of delaying for too long: "It has to be clarified that an application of the [aviation] scheme only inside the EU cannot be an option for more than one year... Any prolongation of this situation [after 31 December 2013], could cause significant distortion of competition and would not be environmentally ambitious enough."

He added that the EU must be clear about what it expects from the ICAO assembly this autumn: "It has to be clarified that a global agreement that satisfactorily covers airlines' emissions will not be in place by the end of 2013. That is why in the meantime a framework for regional and national schemes needs to be adopted. However, the EU should not accept a situation where the current legislation is just abolished in the light of an only potential agreement under the ICAO."

Previously, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard described a meeting with the ICAO recently held in Montreal, Canada as "very constructive". SM

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