EU Emissions Trading Scheme for Airlines Moving Forward

The next step in the ongoing saga of applying the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to the airline industry came this week, as the European Commission partially activated the Single Union Registry for aircraft.

All aircraft operators subject to the EU ETS will be required to open accounts in the registry, through which they will receive permits and report their annual emissions. The first batch of allowances will be credited to each aircraft operator by 28 February 2012, with the first reporting requirement due by March 2013.

A number of third countries continue to resist the extension of the EU ETS to airlines, and it remains to be seen whether they or their airline industries will follow through on threats not to comply with the EU’s new rules. Stay tuned!


  1. emissions trading

    Aviation is an interesting instance but only the instance. Next step will be maritime sector I suppose (see the reasoning of the Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 21 December 2011 in Case C-366/10 on the general nature of the market based instruments that opens the way).

    • Laurens Ankersmit

      That’s a good point. I wonder if the Court would come to a different conclusion if the EU ETS would also be applied in a simular way to the maritime transport sector. From a practical point of view, I guess its easier to evade the scheme for ships than it is for boats, since finding a port along the way should be less troublesome.

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