“A very unexpected but very welcome development, which may now temporarily prevent a full scale trade war,” was the response of World Travel & Tourism Council president David Scowsill, to the European Union’s decision to postpone the full introduction of its emissions trading scheme.
The European Union has confirmed it will “stop the clock” on the implementation of the international aspects of its Emissions Trading Scheme in the aviation sector by one year. As it seeks an international compromise on the scheme, the EU will defer the obligation to surrender emissions allowances from air traffic to and from the EU by one year.
National air traffic control spaces in Europe urgently need to be merged so as to clear congestion, boost safety, reduce flight times, delays and fares, create jobs and cut CO2 emissions, say MEPs in a resolution. They want the commission to put pressure on member states, including possible sanctions, to meet their obligations.
The Single European Sky, the flagship project to create a single European airspace - tripling capacity and halving air traffic costs - is “not delivering” according to latest report on this issue. Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for transport, announced his intention to present new legislative proposals in spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary.
The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme has suffered a further set back, with the United States Senate passing a bill shielding American airlines from the scheme. At present, the ETS requires airlines to buy permits for emissions generated on flights to, from and within the European Union.
In the framework of the EU-Moldova Cooperation Council, the Republic of Moldova and the European Union have signed a comprehensive air services agreement which will make Moldova a full partner of the EU in aviation by gradually integrating into the European common market. Siim Kallas, European commission vice-president responsible for mobility and transport, said: “Today’s agreement is very important for further strengthening the overall economic, trade and tourism relations between Moldova and the EU.”
Almost all commercial airlines operating in Europe have reported their carbon dioxide emissions to the European Commission on time. The Commission will use the figures for a ‘dry run’, before beginning to charge airlines for pollution under the Emissions Trading Scheme from next year.
Airlines should give stranded passengers better information and immediate help, members say in a resolution adopted by the European Parliament. They call on the European Commission to tighten the rules on help and compensation for flight cancellations or delays, including luggage delays over six hours.
The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme is likely to face its sternest test to date with China having banned all airlines for participating. The scheme is designed to levy a charge on flights in EU airspace based on carbon emissions.
Delta Air Lines has become the first carrier in the United States to confirm it will introduce a surcharge in order to pass the costs of the new European Emissions Trading Scheme on to passengers. However, China Air Transport Association has said Chinese carriers will not pay the new tax, arguing the EU was wrong to act unilaterally.
The selection panel appointed to assess the cities applying to be European Capital of Culture in 2017 has recommended that Nicosia and Paphos are pre-selected as the Cypriot contenders for the 2017 title. The pair will now go head to head with Aarhus and Sønderborg of Denmark for the prestigious title.
The International Air Transport Association has expressed disappointment at the decision by the European Court of Justice to include aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme from 2012. Announcing its decision yesterday, the court dismissed claims from North American carriers that the scheme was illegal under international law.