Department for Transport
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Consultation Launched on Aviation and Emissions Trading
Government Ministers today launched a consultation on how the aviation sector can play its part in combating climate change through the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
The EU ETS places a total cap on the amount of carbon dioxide that industries covered by the scheme can emit and allocates allowances to cover emissions within this. If airlines within the scheme emit more than their allocation of carbon allowances, they will have to buy an equivalent number allowances from the carbon market. Those that emit less - for example, as a result of introducing more efficient technology - will be able to sell their allowances. Putting a price on emitting carbon creates an incentive for industry to invest in low carbon technology.
Aviation Minister Gillian Merron added:
"We have led the debate in Europe in calling for aviation to be brought into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Aviation plays an important role in our economy and a balance needs to be struck and maintained between environmental, economic and social considerations. Aviation should meet its environmental costs and emissions trading is the best option for this."
Environment and Climate Change Minister Ian Pearson
"Much of UK industry already plays its part in the EU ETS which now covers nearly half of the UK's carbon emissions."
"While still relatively small, aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions in the UK and, like other sectors of the economy, the aviation industry needs to take its share of responsibility for tackling climate change. "
"We have led the debate in Europe in calling for aviation to be brought into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. It's now time that the aviation sector joins this effort and joins a scheme which puts a cap on its emissions."
The consultation seeks responses on a number of issues, including
* which flights should be included in the scheme, for example, those arriving in and departing from the EU or just those flying between EU airports
* when aviation should enter the scheme
* how the scheme should be regulated, and
* how allowances will be allocated.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The proposal was published by the Commission on 20th December 2006.
2. Emissions from aviation have grown by 87% between 1990 and 2004.
3. International aviation accounts for 6% of UK CO2 emissions.
4. Domestic aviation accounts for 0.4% of UK CO2 emissions.
5. Aviation emissions account for 1.3% of global CO2 emissions.
6. The consultation will run for 9 weeks from today 30th March.
7. The full consultation papers can be seen at http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/aviationemissionstrading
8. The consultation period closes on 1st June.
9. More information on the EU ETS can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/trading/eu/index.htm
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