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CLIMATE CHANGE/AVIATION : ENVI COMMITTEE GREEN-LIGHTS ETS SUSPENSION.

The draft decision to suspend for a year the application of the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) on all flights to and from the EU is now one step closer to being a reality: it was voted in unanimously, on 26 March, by the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The EP will adopt this decision in the April plenary, followed by the Council, adopting it just in time for the decision to enter into force ahead of the 30 April deadline.

The decision exempts EU and third-country airlines from their obligations under the ETS for 2012 emissions. This exemption has a strict one-year limit and only applies for intercontinental flights (intra-European flights continue to be subject to the ETS). The exemption was proposed by the European Commission as a "good will sign" following the decision by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to mandate a high-level group to prepare an agreement - by its next general assembly in September - on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the aviation sector.

This vote, said ENVI Chair Matthias Groote (S&D, Germany), "is a clear signal that everyone in Europe wants a coherent global agreement on aviation emissions". While the vote took place, the ICAO's special working group met in Montreal, Canada, on 25-27 March. On this occasion, a petition with 60,000 signatures was submitted to US Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to act for the international agreement to become a reality.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Apr 12, 2013
Words:249
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