Will the EU ETS Aviation Emissions Directive be Grounded?

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) emerged on 4 October 2013 from its much-anticipated 38th General Assembly meetings in Montreal with what looks like a consensus on the use of market based mechanisms (MBM) for international aviation emissions. The parties confirmed that by 2016 the ICAO will have “tools in place” to develop a market-based measure and a worldwide carbon management plan for aviation, to commence in 2020. The scope of the General Assembly decision has significant implications for the application of the EU ETS to the aviation sector.

On the assumption that the ICAO would be effective in tackling the climate change impacts of international aviation emissions, the EU allowed a one-year moratorium on enforcement of the EU ETS (for all flights originating outside of the EU that land in or take off from an EU member state).

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