September 23, 2023



Airlines will pay more for released harmful emissions

2 min read

Average European families will continue to pay far more for their carbon emissions than frequent long-haul travellers, said Joe Darden, director of aviation at the NGO

The European Union has reached an agreement on legislation that would make airlines pay more for the carbon dioxide emissions they emit that cause global warming. This increases pressure on the air transport sector, forcing it to move away from fossil fuels, Reuters reported.

Airlines flying within Europe must now present permits obtained from the EU carbon market to cover their carbon dioxide emissions, although most of these permits will be free.

That is set to change under new legislation agreed by representatives from member states and the European Parliament, which is to phase out these free permits by 2026, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Airlines will have to pay for their carbon dioxide allowances, providing a financial incentive to reduce emissions.

According to the sources, significantly fewer free carbon dioxide allowances will be given to airlines that use sustainable aviation fuels to partially offset the price difference between the more expensive sustainable fuels and the much cheaper fossil fuel kerosene.

Until now, the EU has limited the scope of its carbon market to covering emissions from flights within the Community, but negotiators of the new legislation agreed that in 2026 Brussels will have to assess whether the United Nations Aviation Agency’s (ICAO) scheme to offset carbon emissions from international flights will be able to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Otherwise, the EU will propose expanding the carbon market to include emissions from all flights departing from Europe.

However, environmental groups objected that emissions from international flights would not be added to the scope of the carbon market sooner.

“Average European families will continue to pay much more for their carbon emissions than frequent long-haul commuters. We are about to lose another decade of climate inaction,” said Joe Darden, director of aviation at the NGO “Transport and Environment” (Transport and Environment).

EU countries and the European Parliament must formally approve the legislation before it comes into force.

Photo by Janam Parikh:

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