Brussels agrees that airlines pay for their CO2 emissions


The European Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement to increase taxes on the aviation sector in the European Union (EU) until completely eliminate free allocations of CO2 emission rights in 2026 in order to ensure that the sector contributes to achieving climate objectives.

Nowadays, 82% of aviation allowances are freeand are distributed on the basis of activity reference indices; 3% is saved in a reserve and 15% is auctionedwhile the sector represents 3.7% of CO2 emissions in the Union economy as a whole.

The new law will integrate, in the revised Emission Rights Trading Regime, the Carbon Emissions Compensation and Reduction System for International Aviation (CORSIAfor its acronym in English) agreed by the International Civil Aviation Organization and based on the world market.

In the event of a negative assessment of CORSIA progress before 1 July 2026, the Commission I would have to submit a proposal to include within the scope of the Emission Rights Trading Regime flights departing from an airport located in the European Economic Area (EEA) to a third country. Therefore, from 2027, flights to third countries that do not apply CORSIA will fall within the scope of the Emission Rights Trading Regime.

The agreement includes the end of free allowance allocations to the aviation sector by 2026one year before the calendar proposed by the Commission, and it will be done gradually, with a 25% reduction in free allocations for 2024 and 50% for 2025.

The negotiators have agreed to reserve 20 million emission rightsbetween January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2030, for commercial aircraft operators increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuels (FAS), such as hydrogen from renewable energy sources, non-biological renewable fuels and advanced biofuels.


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