Fixing EU carbon market crucial to airlines ‘building back better’

(Transport and Environment, 30 Nov 2020) Capping the number of EU pollution permits that airlines can buy, and abolishing the permits that they get for free, will be necessary to drive the uptake of cleaner technology in aviation, a new study finds.

EU lawmakers will overhaul the bloc’s aviation carbon market next summer, and Transport & Environment (T&E) - which commissioned the study - said airlines should not resist these necessary reforms if they want to make good on their pledge to ‘build back better’ from the Covid crisis.

Jo Dardenne, aviation manager, said: “If the aviation sector is serious about greening its recovery, now is the moment to use the EU carbon market to lock in the emissions reductions seen during the pandemic. Once the crisis recedes, airlines need to pay a real price for their carbon emissions, one that ensures new technologies like e-fuels can come to the market.”

Abolishing airlines’ free pollution permits could help raise €1 billion per year, the study finds. The funds generated could be used to support the development of green e-fuels for aircraft. EU regulators could also apply a multiplier to increase the amount of carbon allowances that airline polluters would need to surrender each year, the report said. These measures would send a sufficient price signal to drive emissions reductions by airlines.

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Transport and Environment, 30 Nov 2020: Fixing EU carbon market crucial to airlines ‘building back better’