Mon, Nov 07, 2011 - Page 2 News List

European flights may get pricier

SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT:An EU emissions trading scheme is to be extended to the airline industry on Jan. 1 and will include all international carriers operating in Europe

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The price of flights to Europe may rise after the EU starts including the aviation industry in the carbon emissions trading system (ETS) next year, a research report by the Civil Aeronautics Administration showed.

Previously, the ETS only applied to a few sectors in the EU, including power stations, combustion plants, oil refineries and steel works as well as factories producing glass, bricks and several other materials.

However, in 2009 the EU said that the system would apply to the aviation industry as well, including international carriers operating to, from and within Europe. The policy is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 next year.

The administration said each airline will be given a tradable emissions allowance based on its past record. While airlines will be able to use 85 percent of their allowance for free, they are required to purchase the remaining 15 percent under the new scheme.

The aviation authority estimated that China Airlines and EVA Airways, the nation’s two largest carriers, would need to pay NT$210 million (US$6.99 million) and NT$150 million respectively for their emissions permits. However, the airlines could reduce the amount they need to pay by adopting measures to cut carbon emissions.

The administration added that the annual emissions limit set by the EU is 97 percent of the average amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the industry between 2004 and 2006, but the EU aims to cut emissions by lowering the percentage to 95 percent in 2013.

If an airline exceeds their allowance, it will have to purchase an additional allowance from other trading firms and face a penalty of 100 euros (US$138) per tonne of carbon dioxide.

Last week, members of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, including the US, China and two dozen other nations, urged the EU not to include non-EU carriers in its plan.

They said the plan would infringe a “cardinal principle of state sovereignty” by setting its charges on the distance flown in each flight.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines, also said that the carbon plan would impact on airlines’ profits and make it harder to invest in cleaner aircraft.

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