Efforts to make aviation greener continue to prove controversial. When the EU launched an emissions trading system (ETS) to encourage airlines to become more sustainable, it met with a lot of resistance from countries from outside the EU. MEPs approved on 3 April an informal agreement with the Council stating that ETS will cover flights within the EU up until 2017. We talked to Peter Liese (EPP, DE), responsible for steering the proposal through EP, about the difference the agreement will make.
How do you feel about the deal being adopted?
I think it’s the best option under the circumstances, but I also respect the colleagues in the environment committee who rejected the compromise, because it is not the perfect solution.
It’s is a compromise and I think the best possible compromise, but I’m not happy with the development of the last seven years. I think we have perfectly legitimate reasons for our ETS, but unfortunately we did not succeed in convincing the third countries. I very much hope that this will change in the next 2.5 years.
What difference will the agreement make?
It will continue the ETS and that’s the most important thing. Internal European flights will be covered and it doesn’t matter if it’s British Airways or Air China. All airlines are covered for the same routes.
We have a very clear message for the world. Either we get a global agreement in 2016 or we will have the full scope of the EU’s ETS back in 2017.
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