With the “Fit for 55”package the European Union has unfurled its plans to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 with the ultimate aim for Europe to become the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. While the proposals will affect a range of sectors such as construction, energy and transport, we have been looking at the potential changes most relevant for aviation: 1) the revision of the EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System - a carbon market-based measure, 2) the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal – a mandate accelerating the uptake of sustainable fuels, and 3) the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive introducing tax on fuel for business and leisure flights.
The revision of the EU ETS mechanism foresees a progressive phase-out of the free allowances distributed to aircraft operators from 2024 to 2026 (by respectively: 25%, 50% and 75%) and a complete phase-out from 2027 onwards. To meet the more stringent 2030 emission target, the Commission proposes to reduce the emissions cap by 4.2% annually, instead of the current 2.2% and encourages Member States to use the auctioning revenues for tackling climate change more strongly. In terms of scope, the EU ETS would continue to apply to intra-EEA flights as well as flights to the UK and Switzerland, exempting those flights from CORSIA offsetting requirements. For other international flights, EU airlines would be obliged to apply CORSIA.