The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) caps net CO2emissions from aviation at average 2004-06 levels and will come into force from 1 January 2012.
According to the transport secretary, Geoff Hoon, the scheme will address the need to reduce the environmental impact of aviation alongside the increasing demand for air travel.
‘We know that people want to fly and it would be wrong to deny them the great social and economic benefits that aviation brings.
‘Our challenge is to balance that demand with aviation’s environmental impacts.
‘Emissions trading is key to meeting that challenge’, he said.
The proposal follows a recent announcement by the government to reduce
The new rules will mean that businesses will have to buy allowances from other sectors to compensate for any emissions above the agreed target.
As regulator of the scheme, the Environment Agency has been tasked to ensure that operators monitor their emissions in the lead-up to 2012.
Environment Agency chairman, Chris Smith, said: ‘Including aviation in
‘It is vital that the emissions from this sector are not allowed to grow unchecked and that aviation contributes to meeting our target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.
‘The Environment Agency operates the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme in
Commenting on wider global plans, Hoon said: ‘The
‘Now we must demonstrate to the rest of the world that the scheme is an effective means of capping aviation CO2 emissions so that we can progress towards a similar global arrangement.
‘I know that the Environment Agency, with the advice of the Civil Aviation Authority, will ensure that the scheme is properly enforced in the
‘Aircraft are already much greener and cleaner than they were 30 years ago.
‘Independent forecasts suggest that this trend is set to continue and through ETS, our new 2050 target, and our work with the industry, we are helping to drive this change along.’
The government has begun a 10-week consultation on the regulations under which EU ETS will operate in the
Responding to the proposals, Ian Godden, Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) chief executive, said: ‘Aviation is determined to address the demands of its customers for greener air travel.
‘We have already set ourselves ambitious targets and are determined to meet them.
‘Calls from environmental groups to penalise aviation are counter-productive.
‘The £2.5bn per year that the aerospace industry invests in research and development will deliver improvements much more quickly than the punitive and dogmatic demands to restrict or heavily tax air travel.
‘The inclusion of aviation in the EU-wide emissions trading scheme is a move in the right direction towards a fully international scheme.
‘Such a programme should recognise improved environmental performance in aviation and act as an inspiration to action across the globe.’