Airlines Must Join EU Emission Trading Scheme in 2012

It’s official. Despite heavy lobbying efforts on the part of international airlines, European Union lawmakers approved an agreement with member governments to include airlines in the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), beginning in 2012, according to a Reuters report.

Airlines were successful in pushing back the start date from 2011, but won few other concessions in their negotiations. The industry, which is responsible for 3% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, argued that it cannot survive both the rising cost of fuel and forced participation in emissions trading. 

Nonetheless the European Parliament voted 640 to 30 in favor of inclusion. European based airlines will be required to reduce carbon emissions 3% in the first year and 5% in following years. All airlines flying into or out of Europe will be required to buy emissions permits. Initially they will be required to purchase only 15% of these permits.

Air traffic is expected to doiuble by 2020.

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