The EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, announced yesterday a moratorium on the enforcement of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) to all international flights to and from the European Union until September 2013 so as to allow ICAO time to find a global solution on aviation emissions. The scheme will remain fully implemented for intra-EU flights.
ERA (European Regions Airline Association) and IACA (International Air Carrier Association) consistently called for the suspension of the entire EU ETS scheme until ICAO has been able to find an international solution and therefore support the concept of a moratorium. But by implementing a two-tier scheme where intra-EU operators are still obliged to fully implement the law, the European Commission will continue to impose cost and complexity on intra-EU operations with little or no overall environment benefit.
Giving the international community breathing space to tackle a global problem is a sensible step forward. Continuing to load cost and complexity on intra-EU operations only is not a fair solution for Europe.