Emissions trading scheme

European Union emissions trading scheme

In 2008 the European Union (EU) decided to incorporate emissions from flights that take off or land at airports in the European Economic Area (EEA, EU member states, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) as of 2012 into the European emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). This means that, with effect from 2012, aircraft operators are in principle required to issue emission allowances for all flights that take off and land in the EEA. They are allocated free of charge a portion of the emission allowances based on the number of tonne-kilometres recorded in 2010. From 2012 until the end of 2016, the obligation to participate in the EU ETS was restricted to flights within the EEA (stop-the-clock regulation). The EU thus waited for the development announced by the ICAO of a global measure. On 3 February 2017 the European Commission proposed that the restriction of the EU ETS to flights within the EEA should be continued. This proposal still has to be debated and approved by the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers. It is therefore not yet decided if and how the “stop-the-clock” regulation will be pursued by the EU.

Linking the emission trading schemes

The Confederation is of the opinion that the aviation sector should also contribute to the effort to reduce global warming. Therefore, Switzerland has initialled the agreement on linking the two emissions trading schemes (ETS) in January 2016. The EU ETS integrated emissions from the aviation sector in 2012, and Switzerland plans to integrate aviation emissions into its own scheme after the two systems have become formally linked. The necessary amendments to the existing CO2 Act were submitted for consultation at the end of August 2016 together with Switzerland’s future climate policy.

Collection of tonnes-kilometer data

In order to prepare the integration of civil aviation into the Swiss ETS, tonne-kilometre data are required for calculating the quantity of emission allowances to be allocated to the individual aircraft operators free of charge, as well as for the initial calculation of the Swiss cap for civil aviation (i.e. the maximum available quantity of emission allowances). The Ordinance on the Acquisition and Reporting of Tonne-Kilometre Data Relating to Distances Covered by Aircraft will enter into force on 1 July 2017. Data acquisition will take place from 1 January to 31 December 2018.

Further information

Specialist staff
Last modification 02.07.2018

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