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Climate Change impacts of aviation

European Parliament Hearing on 'Climate Change and Aviation'

On Wednesday 8 March 2006 a Hearing on 'Climate Change and Aviation' took place in the European Parliament (EP).

Caroline Lucas, (Greens/EFA MEP, UK), the EP Rapporteur on the Commission Communication on Aviation and Climate Change, co-organised this hearing on the matter together with the draftswoman for a Transport Committee opinion Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert (ALDE, NL).
The experts confirmed that air transport plays an increasingly important role in climate change and that, if there is no change to current growth patterns in EU aviation, the sector could exhaust the reduction efforts made by other sectors to achieve the legally binding Kyoto targets.

The Commission communication recommends the inclusion of aviation emissions into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and describes some of the main choices for the design of such a system, e.g. geographic scope of flights to be covered, extent to which different aviation impacts on climate change are taken into account, method of allocation and extent of open trading with the other sectors covered by the trading scheme.
Representatives of the airline operators and Mrs. Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert spoke in favour of limiting the scope of action under the emissions trading plans to CO2-emissions whereas Caroline Lucas has recommended full aviation impact to be addressed. Speakers representing environmental organisations and the European Commission joined Caroline Lucas in calling for kerosene taxation and emissions charges to be considered as flanking instruments and further measures to be taken to avoid of vapour contrails through air traffic management (ATM).

The EP Transport Committee will discuss Mrs. Lucas's report on the 28 March and vote on 18-20 April.
The EP Environment Committee (which is the leading committee) will discuss the report on the 24-25 April and vote on the 30 May.
The plenary discussion and vote is scheduled for the session of 3-6 July 2006.
The Commission will present its legislative proposal on measures to address climate impact of aviation by the end of 2006.

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