The European Commission is changing the way it accounts for carbon emissions from aircraft.

It is following an agreement it reached with International Civil Aviation Organization.

In 2016, the European Union and its Member States played an instrumental role in securing a deal on a global market-based measure to stabilize international aviation emissions. The system will require airlines to monitor and report their annual carbon emissions on international routes and offset those exceeding 2020 levels, the EC says.

But the system will get revised in accordance with the agreement reached. The Commission is proposing to continue with the current geographic scope of the EU Emissions Trading System for aviation, covering flights between airports in the European Economic Area, it says. This will ensure a level playing field and equal treatment of all airlines flying in Europe.

“With this proposal we are making sure that the aviation sector also contributes to our climate objectives. Now, we call on countries around the world to participate in the global scheme from the beginning and help us finalize and implement sound environmental criteria to deliver real emissions reductions in the aviation sector,” says Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete.

A final decision will be made by year-end 2017 as to the exact changes to be incorporated.

Between 2013 and 2016, commercial airlines covered by the EU Emissions Trading System contributed to more than 65 million tonnes of carbon emission reductions, the EC says.

Once there is greater clarity on the implementation of the Global Market-Based Measure, the EC says that it intends to present a further assessment of the EU Emission Trading System. This will also take into consideration the EU’s commitment to reduce domestic economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, the EC adds.

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