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The compromise is confirmed at the second trilogue: stop-the-clock until 2016!


On Tuesday 4 March took place the second trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. The three EU institutions finally agreed on a political compromise on the future of Aviation EU ETS.

The Parliament now needs to approve the compromise agreement. First a vote needs to take place in the Environment Committee, which is scheduled for Wednesday 19 March. If this is approved, then a vote will take place in plenary on Thursday 3 April.

View below a ViEUws video interview with Peter Liese on the trilogue deal and ETS airline compliancy:

The main features of the compromise are as follows:
  1. There would be no penalty for aircraft operators that do not report emissions from extra-European flights (flights between the EEA and third countries) during the 2013-2020 period. This means that aircraft operators shall only report intra-European flights during this period. 
  2. Flights between the EEA and the following regions would also exempted from reporting and surrendering requirements: Switzerland, European microstates, EEA overseas territories and EEA outernmost regions.
  3. The deadlines for the reporting and surrendering of 2013 emissions would be pushed back to 31 March and 30 April 2015 respectively.
  4. Aircraft operators would have their free allowances reduced in proportion to the reduction of the surrender obligation. Member states would publish the number of free allowances allocated to each operator four months after entry into force of the new regulation.
  5. The number of allowances to be auctioned by each member state for the 2013-2016 period would be reduced to correspond with its share of attributed aviation emissions for flights which are not subject to the derogation.
  6. Member states are reminded that they “should” use revenues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for adaptation to the impacts of climate change in the EU and third countries, especially developing countries. 
  7. The Commission would be required to report at least once a year to the Parliament and Council on progress of the ICAO negotiations.
  8. Following the 2016 ICAO Assembly, the Commission would be required to report on the actions to implement a global market-based measure from 2020. That report should include proposals in reaction to the Assembly outcome on the appropriate scope for coverage of emissions from extra-European flights from 2017 onwards.
  9. During the 2013-2020 period, intra-European flights performed by non-commercial aircraft operators with total annual emissions lower than 1,000 tCO2 (taking into account both intra- as well as extra-European Annex 1 flights) would be exempted.
However, several groups of the European Parliament as well as environmental NGOs believe that the Environment Committee votes on 19 March to on the trilogue agreement should be rejected for the following reasons: 
  • It extends what was supposed to be an one-year only interim deal for four more years
  • Regulating intra EU flights only is environmentally ineffective
  • Only 25% of emissions are covered
  • Airspace ensures foreign carriers also start to bear their fair share of the burden
  • There is time for a better deal: the Commission state no enforcement is required until legislation finally agreed
  • ENVI voted overwhelmingly on 30 January (49 in favour; 6 against) for Airspace

> Download summary of the 2nd trilogue
> Read GreenAir Online article
> Read EurActive article
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