Fit for 55: increased ambition for emissions reduction in international aviation  

Press Releases 
  • Enlarged scope to all flights departing from European Economic Area airports 
  • Phase out of free allocations by 2025 
  • Support to innovation in the aviation sector through the Climate Investment Fund 

MEPs call for urgent action to reduce emissions in the aviation sector to achieve EU and global climate goals.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee adopted today, with 66 votes in favour, 9 against and 12 abstentions, the Commission proposal revising the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for aviation.

Inclusion of emissions from flights to non-EEA countries

MEPs propose that the EU ETS should apply to all flights departing from an airport located in the European Economic Area (EEA), not just to flights within the EEA as at present, starting 30 April the year after the entry into force of the new rules. This measure is necessary to ensure ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the aviation sector in line with the Paris Agreement, and to contribute to an international level playing field while ensuring equal treatment on routes, MEPs add.

Phasing out of free allocations by 2025

The report foresees an end to free allocations to the aviation sector by 2025, two years ahead of the timetable proposed by the Commission. To ensure the gradual phase out, an accelerated decrease of 50% in free allocations is proposed for 2024, compared to the Commission proposal,.

Channelling financial resources for the climate transition

MEPs want 75% of the revenues generated from the auctioning of allowances for aviation (except for those earmarked as own resources in the EU budget) to be used to support innovation and new technologies, including the deployment of decarbonisation solutions in the aviation sector through the Climate Investment Fund.

The report proposes a number of additional measures to be taken by the Commission:

- publication in a user-friendly manner of all emissions data related to aircraft operators, in order to improve data transparency;

- publication of a list of aircraft operators from countries that do not apply the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) rules for flights to or from non-EEA countries;

- a progress report before 1 January 2027 and every two years thereafter on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) negotiations to implement the global market-based measure to be applied to emissions from 2021;

- a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) scheme for non-CO2 emissions (such as nitrogen oxides, soot particles, sulphur dioxide, water vapour) from aircraft operators, with a view to expanding the scope of the EU ETS to cover non-CO2 aviation emissions, if deemed appropriate.


Rapporteur Sunčana GLAVAK (EPP, HR) said: “With the ETS aviation report we are aligning the aviation sector with our climate goals. But, within that process, we have to offer decarbonisation solutions for the sector, which we managed to achieve in this committee with the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) allowances. We are all aware that we have to focus on our climate goals, but we also cannot allow the industry to bear the whole burden. We must preserve our mobility and industry.”

Next steps

The proposal is scheduled to be adopted during Parliament’s plenary session in June, before negotiations with member states can begin.


ETS aviation is part of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package", which is the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in line with the European Climate Law. Aviation accounts for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and 3.7% in the EU. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary reduction of aviation traffic, projections point to an annual increase in aviation emissions at global and EU level with 53% by 2040, compared to 2017.