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The European Commission adopted yesterday a proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2003/87/EC. The proposal would amend the EU emissions trading system so that only the emissions from flights that take place in European regional airspace will be covered. The change would apply from 1. January 2014 and until a global market- based mechanism (MBM) becomes applicable to international aviation emissions by 2020, as planned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

The key features of the revised ETS system resulting from this proposal would be as follows: 

  • All emissions from flights between airports in the European Economic Area (EEA, covering the 28 EU Member States plus Norway and Iceland) would continue to be covered.
  • From 2014 to 2020, flights to and from countries outside the EEA would benefit from a general exemption for those emissions that take place outside EEA airspace. Only emissions from the part of flights taking place within EEA airspace would be covered.
  • To accommodate the special circumstances of developing countries, flights to and from third countries which are not developed countries and which emit less than 1% of global aviation emissions would benefit from a full exemption. 

The proposal, as well as FAQ