The EU ETS is the world’s largest ‘cap and trade’ emissions reduction scheme, and has been in place in EU member states since 2005. Most airlines are opposed to participating in the EU ETS, due to industry preferences for a global, sectoral scheme to reduce aviation’s emissions. Over 24% of Emirates’ passenger and cargo operations fly to and from the EU. Despite the lingering controversies over the scheme, Emirates has fully complied with the EU ETS by submitting its emissions and tonne-kilometre monitoring plans and 2010 reports to the United Kingdom Environment Agency (UK EA), Emirates’ EU ETS regulator.
Emirates main concerns with the EU ETS are two-fold:
- Many EU states, such as the UK, have indicated that all monies raised by the scheme will be allocated to general revenue. This is completely contrary to the intent of the EC Directive, which states that “… revenues should be used to tackle climate change in the EU and third countries… and to fund research and development for mitigation and adaptation, including in particular in the fields of aeronautics and air transport…”
- A number of EU states, including the UK, Germany and Austria have introduced additional ‘environmental’ taxes and charges, resulting in the aviation industry and its users having to pay for their emissions more than once in the EU.