Business aviation associations called upon to devise EU ETS alternative


At the CBAA in Toronto, several national business aviation associations gathered to share their views on the EU ETS

In Toronto at the CBAA 2012,
several national business aviation associations and their
international representative body, IBAC, gathered to review their joint
positions on the EU ETS. Fabio Gamba, chief executive of the European
Business Aviation Association (EBAA), set out the European perspective,
emphasising that he shared the audience’s frustration over the scheme’s many

shortcomings include the discriminatory treatment of business aviation, not
only in the distinction made in the Directive between commercial and
non-commercial operators and how the de minimis rule is applied, but also in
the system’s cost ineffectiveness and its focus on punishing CO2 emitters
instead of encouraging their efforts dedicated to improving the industry’s
carbon footprint. As for the scheme itself, Gamba stressed that its timing
couldn’t be worse and should have at least been coordinated with EU Member
States – several of which continue to tax aviation also for
environmentally-based reasons.

“There’s no
denying that aviation emissions will grow over time despite the sector’s
constant technological and operational improvements and its formal long-term
commitment to reducing the impact of aviation on the environment. And although
business aviation emits less than 2% of air transport emissions – and less than
.04% of total man made emissions – we confirm our sector’s role in helping to
combat global warming,” Gamba said. “Indeed we have already called for and recognised
the role of interim global market-based measures to foster the fulfilment of
our three long-term targets, namely 1) carbon-neutral growth by 2020, 2)
improvement in fuel efficiency of an average 2%/year until 2020, and 3) an
absolute reduction of 50% (based on 2005) of our CO2 emissions. However, we
believe the time has now come to define what these measures should be.”

Don Spruston,
director general of IBAC, also cautioned that resistance to the EU ETS could
lead to retaliation which would harm all parties. “We understand the
frustration that unilateralism and badly-crafted legislation can generate,” he
added, “but we also note, importantly, that the European Commission has agreed
to abandon its scheme if and when a global agreement on an aviation climate
change program is sealed. This is an opportunity we want to seize.” 

Spruston called
upon the international business aviation community to rally behind the
worldwide aviation effort to develop an alternate, global, market-based measure
to the EU ETS. Sam Barone, president and chief executive of CBAA, noted: “We
need to devote our resources to finding an international agreement that has the
full support of the industry worldwide. Today various international bodies are
already reflecting on how best to achieve it. We commend their efforts, but we
must take a more active role in their work.”

EBAA and their
colleague business aviation associations, working with IBAC, are therefore
calling for the development of such a global agreement under the leadership of
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Barone concluded that the
EU ETS had triggered discussions at a global level which should provide a much
needed push to reach a global solution under ICAO. “We certainly don’t support
the EU ETS for all the reasons mentioned above. And we will join our colleagues
in pushing for a fairer, international, market-based measure that helps
accommodate our ambitious environmental goals in the short- to mid-term.
Indeed, we warmly welcome the constructive debate generated at our 2012
Convention and are delighted to offer further facilitation from our offices in
the home country of ICAO.”