EU backs compromise on plane CO2 emissions

An Air France jet - file pic There have been international protests over the EU tax on aircraft emissions

Related Stories

The EU will not levy a carbon emission tax on airlines when their planes are outside European airspace, the European Parliament has decided.

The exemption for airlines will apply until 2017, by which time a global deal on aviation emissions may be in place.

An EU tax will still apply for flights inside the EU. The new rules followed difficult talks with EU governments.

Aviation is a fast-growing source of CO2 emissions, blamed by experts for contributing to global warming.

The MEPs' vote on Thursday was a climbdown from more ambitious targets that the European Commission had originally proposed.

The US, China and India had complained about the EU's decision to tax international airlines for emissions.

Global negotiations

The Commission now hopes that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will reach a global agreement by 2017 to limit aviation emissions.

EU governments - jointly called the Council - wanted to extend the exemption until 2020, but MEPs decided that 2017 should be the deadline.

The emissions tax is part of the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), under which heavy emitters of CO2 buy and sell carbon allowances.

Addressing MEPs, the EU's Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said "the Commission would of course have preferred and fought for a higher level of ambition.... it would've been better for Europe's self-respect and reputation and even more important, for the climate. But we are where we are".

The ETS was originally set up in 2005 to cover factories and other land-based emitters of CO2, but was extended to cover aircraft in January 2012.

Under the rules adopted on Thursday, the 28 EU member states will also have to report openly how they spend revenues from the ETS. The transparency drive is aimed at ensuring that the money is spent on measures to combat climate change.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes

  • WW1 gas mask being demonstratedTrench terror

    Did the soldiers of WW1 have an irrational fear of poison gas?

  • Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012Aura of a loser?

    Mitt Romney looked presidential but could never pull it off

  • A woman holds up a feminist sign.PC virus

    Is liberal speech policing out of control?

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February


  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.