Thursday 27th October 2016                 Change text size:

Air emissions tax hailed a success

Air emissions tax hailed a success

The EU has declared that more than 99% all of major global airlines have complied with the first step of Europe’s controversial scheme to charge them for their carbon emissions.

From the start of 2012, aviation was to be included in the European Union’s emissions trading system and caused controversy from airlines across 20 countries including the US, China, Russia and Japan. However only eight Chinese and two Indian airlines failed to comply with the March 31 deadline. This has since been extended to mid-June to allow them to do so.

Small fines for non-compliance could be imposed by EU member states and, in the future, airlines that do not comply could face fines of $128 per tonne of CO2 emitted or be banned from European airports.

Under the EU’s system, major polluters are given allowances to emit greenhouse gases. If the company exceeds its allowances, it has to buy extra permits, but if it cuts its emissions it can sell the allowances.

Over time, the total number of allowances is scaled back, in order to cut emissions and tackle global warming. But, there are currently oversupplies of permits due to over-allocation and the reduction of economic activity caused by the economic crisis.

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