Airlines are expected to pay for all their European CO2 emissions from 2026, a year earlier than what was initially proposed by the European Commission.
According to a European Parliament’s draft, the bloc is re-examining its current climate policies, as it aims to cut 55 per cent of emissions by 2030 from 1990 levels, Reuters reported.
To speed up the proposal’s adoption, the draft would see airlines losing 33.3 per cent of their CO2 permits in 2024, losing 66.6 per cent instead of 50 per cent from the following year. From 1 January 2026, all permits will be auctioned.
“It’s a long overdue step considering airlines have received free allowances for so long and other benefits – such as tax-free jet fuel,” Andrew Murphy, aviation director at Transport & Aviation, told City A.M. “But a lot more needs to be done to eliminate the climate impact of flying so this is only one step.”
Airlines get up to 80 per cent of their CO2 permits for free, as emissions from intra EU flights are covered under the EU carbon market. But if the parliament was to implement the resolution, that would lead to 12 million extra emission permits being sold to polluting airlines.
International flights would then be covered under a similar scheme by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which set to become mandatory in 2027.