European Commission Publishes Benchmark Values for Aviation

26 September 2011: The European Commission has published the benchmark values that will be used to allocate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances free of charge to more than 900 aircraft operators with a view to making the aviation sector part of the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS) from 2012.

Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard explained that, with the benchmark values, airlines will have certainty about how many allowances they will receive for free each year up to 2020, which at current market prices represent more than €20 billion over the decade. She stressed that, with these potential revenues, airlines could invest in modernizing their fleets, improving fuel efficiency and using non-fossil aviation fuel. She also emphasized that the EU will continue to advocate for global regulation of aviation at the next UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, at then end of 2011.

The formal allocation of free allowances to each aircraft operator will be carried out by the EU member States, that will multiply the benchmark by the 2010 ton-kilometre data of each aircraft operator. Member States have an obligation to determine individual allocations within three months of the publication of the benchmark decision. [EU Press Release]