Aviation in emissions trading
Commercial as well as non-commercial aircraft operators must surrender allowances for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by their aviation activity. As a general principle, all aircraft operators are included in emissions trading if they carry out flights departing from or arriving at the territory of the European Economic Area (EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). From 2010, they have been required to report their emissions to the competent authority (in Germany, to the German Emissions Trading Authority at the German Environment Agency, DEHSt).
For 2012 and 2013-2016, the EU has introduced several exceptions concerning geographic scope, which are explained below.
Stopping the clock 2012
Those aircraft operators whose administering Member State is Germany reported some 16 million tonnes of CO2 released in 2012. However, the overall emissions were much higher. Emission estimates and data from Eurocontrol indicate an amount of around 49.5 million tonnes of CO2 for flights taking off from or landing at European airports. Thus, in 2012 only 30 percent of the aviation emissions originally administered by Germany were regulated through emissions trading.
These figures can be traced back to the implementation of the so-called "Stopping the clock". "Stopping the clock" was a temporary concession from the EU to support the ICAO process of negotiating a global market-based measure for regulating international aviation emissions. It allowed aircraft operators to choose to surrender a reduced amount of emissions certificates (i.e., with some exceptions, e.g. Switzerland, only for flights within the EEA) if they relinquished some of the free allocation of emission allowances at the same time. All in all, the aircraft operators waived about 26.2 million of these free allowances.
Amending the Emissions Trading Directive
Facts and data
|(1)Absolute figures refer to the original so-called "full scope" of the Emissions Trading Directive|
|2012 and 2013-2020 reduction targets||-3% (2012) and -5% (from 2013) in comparison to 2004-2006 average (baseline), i.e. the cap is 97% or 95%|
|EU reduction targets in absolute figures (1)||Basis line: 221.4 m t CO2|
2012 cap: 214.8 m t CO2
2013-2020 cap: 210.4 m t CO2
|Participants in emissions trading in aviation (1)||Almost 6000 international aircraft operators from more than 150 countries, for 500 of which Germany is responsible|
|Free allocation (1)|
85% of the 2012 certificates
|Reserve||3% of the certificates from 2013|
|Auction percentage||15% of the certificates|