Aircraft operators warned to make early start on Aviation EU ETS verification process or risk fines
Fri 6 Aug 2010 – Aircraft operators joining the Aviation EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are being urged to start the verification process of their emissions and benchmark reports covering 2010 as soon as possible. These reports have to be verified and submitted to the relevant Competent Authority by 31 March 2011. In the UK, only bodies accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) can perform the strict verification audit. The Environment Agency for England and Wales (EA), which is responsible for nearly all aircraft operators assigned to the UK, has yet to publish a promised list of Aviation EU ETS accredited verifiers. However, last week, CICS, a company that already performs EU ETS verifications of fixed installation operators, announced it was one of the first to be “recommended to receive” accreditation by UKAS.
According to David Robinson, Greenhouse Gas Scheme Manager for CICS, UKAS recommends accreditation based on evidence submitted subject to a site-witnessed assessment of an aircraft operator and a review of records at the next surveillance visit. Only after successful completion of the assessment can a verifier receive the necessary full accreditation to proceed with verification of other operators.
“This will be the same approach for all UK verification bodies,” says Robinson. “The significance is that we have procedures and competent persons in place to deliver the service and we can now commence aviation verifications.”
CICS is a leading accredited greenhouse gas verifier in Europe and North America and was the first to be accredited under the EU ETS Phase II (2008-2012). It claims to verify over 40% of the operators already included in the EU ETS reporting to the UK and Irish Environmental Agencies. To date, it has verified over €7 billion worth of EU ETS emissions. It has also carried out previous work in the aviation sector, including the independent verification of carbon emissions for several international airlines to support their offset programmes and EU ETS pre-verification. CICS verifiers have recently undertaken dedicated training with the IATA Training and Development Institute and further specific in-house training is ongoing.
Aircraft operators who fail to submit their verified reports on time run the risk of a fine of €100 per tonne of their annual CO2 emissions.
“It’s important that the verification process is started as soon as possible,” says Shaun Bainbridge, a CICS Director. “That way, any problems with data collection and monitoring can be ironed out well in advance, ensuring fines for late reporting are avoided.”
According to UKAS, there are 10 certification bodies accredited for all Phase II scopes of the EU ETS, including CICS, many of whom will probably apply for verifier accreditation for the Aviation EU ETS. There are over 900 aircraft operators on the list published by the European Commission earlier in the year that come under UK regulation.