Consider suspending inclusion of aviation in ETS
EU should consider suspending inclusion of aviation in ETS
Pretoria - The European Union (EU) should consider suspending the inclusion of aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for two years, says Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.
The EU ETS is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to fight climate change as well as a tool to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.
“If the EU is committed to a global solution, which I believe they are, and if the rest of the world is seriously committed to providing new political momentum to negotiations under ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization], which I believe they are, there may be very good reasons for the EU to suspend the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS for two years,” explained the minister.
The minister said this as some countries are opposed to the scheme. It emerged on Monday that nine leading European aviation firms, including Airbus, wrote to French, British, German and Spanish leaders to protest about the new EU carbon tax. The CEO’s warned that counter-measures on European airlines are in preparation in countries opposing the ETS.
The ETS system requires all airlines flying in EU airspace to pay 15% of their polluting carbon emissions for 2012, a charge which they will not have to settle until 2013. Under the scheme, it is estimated that around 4000 airlines will pay the EU for pollution permits
“I believe the EU should go the extra mile and give the negotiating parties in ICAO, all of us, a fair chance to conclude negotiations on a global, sectoral emissions trading scheme,” he said.
Van Schalkwyk said that aggressive unilateralism and extra-territorial measures were not the way to go in an increasingly globalised world. It may look attractive in the short-term, but it will sow seeds that will only reap the whirl wind of confrontation in the medium- to long-term,” warned the minister.
He, however, added that with stronger leadership from all sides it is possible to resolve outstanding issues including the clash of principles between climate change and air transport regimes.
Van Schalkwyk was speaking at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Aviation & Environment Summit 2012 in Geneva on Wednesday.
“One way to resolve the impasse could be to agree that any market-based mechanism would have zero net incidence for developing countries. In the design of an emissions trading scheme, provision could be made for the ICAO principle of equal treatment to apply at an operator level when revenues are raised,” he explained.
“However, when allocations are made from a multilaterally managed fund, differentiated disbursements could be made, for example towards decarbonised infrastructure and sustainable-biofuels industries in developing-country markets. This assumes that a significant portion of revenues from carbon pricing will be re-invested in green growth.”
A political solution is urgently required to resolve the matter that could possibly have dire consequences for trade and tourism.
“A political solution is urgently required. I believe a global deal is within reach, but we now need the EU to take a broader view of what the atmosphere needs by creating the space for bona fide multilateral negotiations to conclude by 2013,” said Van Schalkwyk. – BuaNews-Xinhua