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European carbon trading catching less than quarter of airline emissions, data finds

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Less than a quarter of airline emissions in Europe were covered by the region’s carbon trading schemes in 2023, largely because the systems only apply to intra-region flights and exclude long-haul flights, which are the most fuel-intensive
• European airlines also receive annual free allowances, which further limits the emissions captured by these schemes

🔭 The context: The European Union, UK, and Switzerland operate emissions trading systems (ETS) that require carbon-intensive industries like aviation to buy allowances for their emissions • However, these systems currently only cover flights within these regions, not including long-haul international flights that contribute heavily to emissions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This limitation highlights significant gaps in efforts to regulate and reduce carbon emissions from aviation, a major contributor to global warming
• The current ETS captures only a small fraction of the total emissions, leaving a considerable amount of pollution unpriced and unmitigated

⏭️ What's next: The EU is facing calls to extend carbon taxes to international flights, a move that is politically contentious but may align more closely with global climate goals
• Meanwhile, the EU plans to phase out free allowances by the end of 2025, which could increase the cost of emissions for airlines

💬 One quote: “In a time of climate crisis, how can we allow airlines gobbling up fossil fuels to not pay for a fair share of their emissions?” asked Dardenne, Aviation Director at Transport & Environment

📈 One stat: Airlines flying within Europe paid €3 billion in ETS allowances in 2023

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable mobility

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