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de Brún regrets Parliament did not go further in limiting carbon emissions

13 November, 2007

Bairbre de Brún MEP has today welcomed the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Today's vote in the European Parliament sees the first piece of legislation on the EU level since EU leaders decided in March to reduce the EU's emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels by 2020. The Parliament also voted to strengthen the proposal from the European Commission.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg Ms de Brún, who is a member of the European Parliament's Climate Change Committee and Environment Committee, said:

"I welcome the vote today in the European Parliament to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). I also welcome the fact that the Parliament has voted to strengthen the Commission's original proposal. I particularly welcome the decision to limit the use of non-aviation credits that airline operators can use under the scheme to reduce the amount of effort they themselves would otherwise have to make. This will ensure that technological and efficiency improvement will take place within the aviation sector.

"I am disappointed, however, that the European Parliament did not decide to take stronger action still. Since 1990 greenhouse gas emissions from EU international aviation have more than doubled and now account for 5-12% of the total EU CO2 emissions.

"It is unfortunate that the Parliament did not accept the proposal to cap emissions at 50% of the average level in 2004-2006 by the year 2020. A cap at 90% of the average level in 2004-2006 means that the aviation sector will still remain far behind the level of effort of other sectors in the economy. I am also disappointed that these changes won't begin before 2011. The next ten years will be crucial in combating climate change and avoiding irreversible damage. It is important, therefore, that including airlines in the emissions trading scheme takes place as soon as possible.

"Today's vote is an important first step, but further action is needed in order to address the impact of aviation on climate change. As the European Parliament resolution in June 2006 recognised, the emissions trading scheme is just one aspect - complementary measures such as a kerosene tax are also needed." Deireadh

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