Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Climate Crash in Strasbourg

Climate Crash in Strasbourg - how the aviation industry undermined the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading SchemeIn October 2008 EU member states finally approved a deal which will bring aviation into the emissions trading scheme. The agreement follows three years of deliberations, yet despite the apparent commitment by the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will make little difference to the level of emissions from the aviation sector. How did this happen? How the aviation industry undermined the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

In October 2008 EU member states finally approved a deal which will bring aviation into the emissions trading scheme. The agreement follows three years of deliberations, yet despite the apparent commitment by the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will make little difference to the level of emissions from the aviation sector. How did this happen?

The European Commission initially proposed including CO2 emissions from aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2005 in an attempt to curb international emissions from planes — currently unregulated by the Kyoto Protocol. A three-year lobbying battle began in Brussels and soon extended internationally. The aviation industry, led by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Association of European Airlines (AEA), played a leading role with their campaigns to fight or hijack the scheme in their interests.

Throughout this period, the European Parliament stuck to strict measures strengthening the rather weak Commission’s proposal, while the Council defended a less ambitious position. But MEPs finally bowed down in a deal with the Council brokered in June 2008.

The deal was a real setback for the Parliament and the climate because it allows emissions from planes will continue growing dramatically in the future instead of being stabilised or reduced. According to the terms of the deal and the corresponding scenario considered in an impact assessment carried out for the Commission, the reduction in emissions achieved by 2020 will be the equivalent of just one year’s growth in air travel under a “business as usual” scenario.

As this report shows, there were many reasons for the climb down by the Parliament – political pressure from inside the EU for a quick agreement, international political pressure from the US and other third countries and, predominantly, industry pressure from both inside and beyond the EU.

In October 2008 EU member states finally approved a deal which will bring aviation into the emissions trading scheme. The agreement follows three years of deliberations, yet despite the apparent commitment by the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will make little difference to the level of emissions from the aviation sector. How did this happen? The European Commission initially proposed including CO2 emissions from aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2005 in an attempt to curb international emissions from planes — currently unregulated by the Kyoto Protocol. A three-year lobbying battle began in Brussels and soon extended internationally. The aviation industry, led by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Association of European Airlines (AEA), played a leading role with their campaigns to fight or hijack the scheme in their interests. Throughout this period, the European Parliament stuck to strict measures strengthening the rather weak Commission’s proposal, while the Council defended a less ambitious position. But MEPs finally bowed down in a deal with the Council brokered in June 2008. The deal was a real setback for the Parliament and the climate because it allows emissions from planes will continue growing dramatically in the future instead of being stabilised or reduced. According to the terms of the deal and the corresponding scenario considered in an impact assessment carried out for the Commission, the reduction in emissions achieved by 2020 will be the equivalent of just one year’s growth in air travel under a “business as usual” scenario. As this report shows, there were many reasons for the climb down by the Parliament – political pressure from inside the EU for a quick agreement, international political pressure from the US and other third countries and, predominantly, industry pressure from both inside and beyond the EU.
 

The corporate lobby tour

The European Ombudsman has opened a case on the European Commission's industry-dominated Expert Group on the risky and dangerous practice of 'fracking for natural gas.
Four months before world governments meet in Paris to negotiate the deal they claim will “save the climate”, 1500 protestors took matters into their own hands by entering an opencast lignite mine owned by energy provider RWE in western Germany.
Reforms announced last week do little to address flaws in EU's Emissions Trading System.
Today's Commission announcement extends a failing system for another 15 years.
Policy-makers want their decisions to be based on the best available evidence; controlling the relevant science is therefore a key component of the strategy of the lobbyists who can afford it. During two days, this conference will analyse evidence politics and discuss evidence policies to find out how to make the existing EU scientific evidence appraisal system evolve towards better serving the public interest.
The European Ombudsman has opened a case on the European Commission's industry-dominated Expert Group on the risky and dangerous practice of 'fracking for natural gas.
Policy prescriptions: the firepower of the EU pharmaceutical lobby and implications for public health
A citizen's tour of corporate power in Brussels 03/09/15

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate