Airlines condemn EU carbon emissions plan

by Ella FAIRCHILD on September 28, 2011

Airlines were quick to denounce an EU plan that will see them being charged for carbon emissions, warning that it will cost the industry around 17.5 billion euros over eight years.

The industry’s three major airline associations argue that the European Commission has been grossly misleading through stating that the scheme could easily translate into more than 20 billion euros in revenues over the next decade. AEA, the Association of European Airlines, along with ERA, the European Regions Airline Association, and IACA, the International Air Carrier Association, said that it is high time the Commission finally woke up to reality.

In a joint statement, the airline groups said that the airlines will be the sole beneficiaries of a scheme about to deprive them of revenue, which shows a blatant misunderstanding, with regards to economic reality, from the European Commission. Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner, announced on Monday that airlines are going to receive 85 per cent of emissions allowances completely free of charge from 2012 onwards, meaning that they will have to pay for at least 15 per cent of polluting rights.

From 2013-2020 the figure will be around 82 per cent per year. Hedegaard contests that the free allowances are going to amount to something close to 20 billion euros, adding that airlines will use the funds for modernising their fleets, improving fuel efficiency, and using non-fossil aviation fuel.

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