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Aviation emissions

Final call for tackling airline emissions, as legal opinion clears way for EU scheme

This morning, the advocate general of the European Court of Justice gave her opinion that the inclusion of the aviation sector in the EU's emissions trading scheme is legally sound, clearing the way for the planned inclusion from the beginning of next year (1). The Greens welcomed the announcement, which confirms the EU's approach to tackling the growing greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector, which threaten to undermine emissions reductions from other sectors (2). Commenting on the opinion, Green MEP Satu Hassi said:

"Hopefully, this is the final call before take-off for the inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading scheme. The advocate general has confirmed that the EU is perfectly justified in its approach to tackling the rising emissions from airlines and we hope and assume the Court will follow suit.

"This should bring an end to the pointless campaign by the laggards in the aviation sector - and their cheerleaders in various non-European governments - to stall the introduction of the scheme. Instead of fighting a rear-guard action, these firms could have been preparing themselves by improving the efficiency of their fleet. We hope those governments that have tagged along with this lobbying effort will now push ahead with measures to address emissions from their own aviation sectors and follow the example set by the EU."

(1) The opinion of the advocate general is normally followed by the European Court of Justice. The inclusion of aviation in the emissions trading scheme is due to come into force on 1 Jaunary 2012.

(2) The inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading scheme would cover around one-third of the global CO2 emissions from the international aviation sector.

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