Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

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 International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this: http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissi...

The Commission proposal for 'mandatory' transparency register is a disappointment. Its measures will do little to help journalists, civil society and citizens scrutinise the corporate lobbies trying to manipulate EU policies in their favour.
Corporate Europe Observatory is looking for an experienced, creative and dynamic outreach and mobilisation organiser to strengthen our visibility as well as public engagement with CEO's work in countries across Europe. The 13-month contract will run from 1 December 2016 to 31 December 2017.
CETA is a sweeping trade deal restricting public policy options in areas as diverse as intellectual property rights, government procurement, food safety, financial regulation, the temporary movement of workers, domestic regulation and public services, to name just a few of the topics explored in this analysis.
The International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.
 
 
 
 
 
-- placeholder --
 
 
 

The corporate lobby tour