FIT FOR 55 FACTSHEET: Aviation ETS
by Reinout Debergh
|Only flights within the European Economic Area (EEA) and those to the UK and Switzerland are covered||Scope expanded to also include all departing flights from the EEA to outside the EEA with reimbursement of Corsia costs for those routes. Potential full scope in 2027 pending assessment of Corsia.|
|Outmost regions exempted until 2030.||Outermost regions are exempted until 2027.|
|No free allowances for sustainable aviation fuels.||40 million free allowances for sustainable aviation fuels until 2030 and potential extension to 2034.|
|Full auctioning from 2027.||Full auctioning from 2025 (except the exemption mentioned above).|
|Revenue flows to Member States to be used for climate action.||75% of revenue to a new EU ‘Climate Investment Fund’, 15% of revenue from departing flights to UNFCCC funds, rest to the Member States.|
|No measures to address non-CO2 effects. Read more here.||Non-CO2 effects to be monitored, reported and verified starting 6 months after entry into force and eventually including them in the ETS.|
|Data not available per airport pair, emissions under Corsia not public per airline and airport pair.||More detailed reporting, including emissions per airline and per airport pair, amount of offsetting, type of carbon credits used under Corsia, fuel consumption, etc.|
|No specific requirements for short-haul flights.||2026 Commission report assessing feasibility for specific requirements for short-haul flights.|
The ENVI Committee has improved the Commission proposal in several ways. Firstly, it advances the start of the full auction by two years which is necessary for truly pricing aviation’s pollution and will also generate more revenue that can be used for climate action. While it does give free allowances to airlines who use sustainable aviation fuels, this action is limited in time and amount, Two key conditions for it to be acceptable. Secondly, while full-scope coverage would be better, it at least expands the scope to cover all departing flights thereby addressing the biggest chunk of aviation emissions. The scope under the Commission’s proposal would only cover less than 40% of aviation’s emissions while the rest would be covered by the ineffective Corsia scheme. Lastly, it finally addresses non-CO2 effects such as NOx and contrails, which account for two-thirds of aviation’s total climate impact . The Commission has failed to include them in any of the ’Fit for 55’ proposals. Therefore, it is good to see the ENVI Committee taking responsibility. Addressing these effects can deliver climate benefits faster as they are short-lived in contrast to CO2.
References Dardenne, J., 2021, EU ETS AVIATION (EMISSIONS TRADING SYSTEM): Failing to address the bulk of aviation emissions, accessed on 23/05/2022, https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/what-the-eu-climate-plan-means-for-aviation-in-the-ets/.