‘Increases in air traffic will mean that CO2 emissions in 2050 are likely to be seven to ten times higher than in 1990’

EU lawmakers last night reached a deal that will continue to see international flights exempted from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme until 2023.

Julie Girling, MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, was the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the agreement and has welcomed the deal that will still see internal flights within the EU coming under the ETS and contributing more to emissions reductions on an annual basis.

She successfully proposed introducing a time limit for the exemption that will see it lapse on 31st December 2023. With the International Civil Aviation Authority due to introduce a global carbon offsetting scheme for the sector in 2021, the time limit will enable lawmakers to assess whether the global scheme makes an effective contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and amend the provisions of the ETS accordingly.
Increases in air traffic will mean that CO2 emissions in 2050 are likely to be seven to ten times higher than in 1990, therefore it is crucial that action is taken to reduce their impact on climate change.

Mrs Girling said: “Maintaining the status quo on international flights was the sensible thing to do as we await for more clarity on how the global scheme will address emissions from the aviation sector. Putting a time limit on the exemption will provide an opportunity to assess how effective the global scheme is at bringing the airline industry in line with the other heavier emitters falling under the EU’s emission trading scheme.”