UK opens consultation on second stage of transposing Aviation EU ETS directive into national regulations
Mon 14 Dec 2009 – The UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has opened a 12-week public consultation seeking views on the second set of draft UK regulations to transpose the EU directive on the inclusion of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The first set came into force on 17 September 2009 in order to transpose the key parts of the Aviation Directive that enabled the UK Government with the necessary legal powers to determine aircraft operators’ emissions plans and applications for a free allocation before the first reporting year starting 1 January 2010. These new regulations will ultimately repeal in part and replace the first stage regulations and provide for a full transposition of the Directive.
The issues covered by this consultation, which runs from 11 December 2009 until 5 March 2010, include:
·Emissions plan conditions and variation
·Duty and failure to surrender allowances equal to emissions
·Charging of fees
·Detention and sale of aircraft
·Assistance from aerodrome operators (including penalties for non-compliance)
·Application for an operating ban and enforcing an operating ban
In a section of the consultation document titled ‘Other areas of interest to consultees’, DECC notes that Article 3d (4) of the Aviation Directive affords a discretion to Member States, which provides that they may allocate revenue generated from auctioning allowances to tackle climate change. However, responds DECC, “the UK Government does not earmark revenue from auctioning for specific projects. Auctioning revenues are fed into the Government’s consolidated fund.” No comments to this are requested by the document.
The same section also notes that the EU directive does not provide for a closures policy, whereby operators would cease to receive a free allocation of allowances each year if they stopped operations or fell outside of the scope of the EU ETS. The UK Government believes that an EU-wide closures policy is required for the aviation sector of the EU ETS since an airline that has ceased operating or later falls outside the scheme no longer needs an allocation of free allowances. Under the current rules, an airline that ceased flying in 2012 would continue to receive a free allocation each year up to 2020.
Says the document: “Over the coming months, we will be working with the European Commission and other Member States to agree an EU-wide closures policy. We will seek all suitable opportunities to provide for a closures policy through amending the Aviation EU ETS Directive, or through other European legislation, including withholding free allowances in years following an airline operator ceasing its activities. Our aim is to put in place an EU-wide closures policy before aviation joins the EU ETS at the start of 2012. Initial discussions with the European Commission and other Member States suggest that they are also looking for a solution to this issue.”
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s Aviation EU ETS MRV web page requests aircraft operators should note that all references to Member States on templates should be interpreted as including all 30 EEA States. The EEA comprises the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.