The European Union wants its own measures to reduce airline pollution from 2018 to 2020 ahead of when a proposed global deal is due to come into force and may extend its own system if it sees fit, European officials said on Monday.
Some EU lawmakers argue the global accord falls short of EU ambitions to cut back greenhouse gases and does not justify extending an exemption for flights from the EU’s own aviation emissions trading scheme beyond 2016.
Aviation was excluded from December’s climate accord in Paris when countries agreed to limit the global average rise in temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
China, the United States, the EU and 16 surrounding nations support a pact to cap emissions of all international flights at 2020 levels that is due to be finalised when the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meets in Montreal later this month.
However, the new global deal would be voluntary between 2021 and 2026 and only become mandatory from 2027 for the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitters.
The EU must decide by the end of the year whether to keep exempting international flights from its own Emissions Trading System (ETS). It had agreed to give ICAO until 2016 to find a global deal on curbing emissions from international aviation.
Despite a global pact, EU officials said the bloc may keep elements of its own trading scheme in place.
“The resolution does not prevent us from maintaining what we have in place should we choose to do so,” an EU official said. “It’s very much possible to make sure that the two systems coexist and can be made complementary but that’s a discussion we will of course be having after Montreal.”
“We need to see how the GMBM (global market-based measure) evolves over time,” the official added. “Even before that, we need to have a solid aviation system in place within the EU … to meet our climate targets.”