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International air transportation has, up to now, been largely exempted from the Kyoto framework. Only emissions during domestic flights are taken into account.

Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
From 1990 to 2003, the EU's GHG emissions from international aviation increased by 73%, or 4.3% per year, and if the indirect effects are taken into account, emissions of the sector could cancel half of what the EU has committed to reduce by 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol!

To reduce the impacts of aviation, the Greens put pressure:

  • To end the tax exemption on aviation fuel and on VAT for cross-border flight tickets. The application of a kerosene tax would be a first step to include this sector into the climate change measures. This measure will also make competition fairer between all means of transport. Rail transport today has to pay taxes for its energy consumption, whereas air fuel is tax-free.
  • To integrat the emissions trading scheme, including air transport from 2008 into a concept of truth of costs for the air transport sector.The Greens urge the Commission to opt for a separate pilot scheme for controlling aviation emissions for flights originating or landing within the EU for the period 2008-2012.This will prepare the ground for global measures to reduce emissions from aviation and maritime transport;
  • To extend efficient alternative solutions on the short distance passenger transport,such as attractive direct train connections between the big cities. Passengers should have the possibility to purchase combined train + plain tickets and get the necessary information to avoid using the plane for short trips;
  • The growth in the tourism sector by low cost air carriers has to be moved towards sustainable tourism, i.e develop the travels with sustainable modes as far as possible.

NGO: position paper on aviation (pdf)



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