EPA publishes Greenhouse gas emission allowances for the aviation sector

Date released: Oct 28 2011

The EPA has published the allocation of Greenhouse gas emission allowances for the aviation sector under Irish administration as part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.  

The EU is in the process of extending Emissions Trading to international aviation. From January 1st 2012 flights landing or departing from airports within the territories of the EU Member States (and the EEA-EFTA countries Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) will be required to surrender one EU allowance for every tonne of CO2 emitted no later than the 30 April of the following calendar year. Monitoring of CO2 emissions will be by calculation based on consumption of fuel and standardised emission factors.

Each year airlines will receive a certain number of free allowances and will be required to buy any additional allowances they may need on the carbon markets. As Ireland can be first “(air)port of call” for many cross-Atlantic flights, some 52 operators assigned to this country have been deemed eligible for a free allocation. Most of these are small private or corporate aircraft. 

The list of aircraft operators and their allocation is available for download from the EPA website.

For further information go to the EPA website.


Notes to Editor

  1. Flights landing or departing from airports within the territories of the EU Member States or the EEA-EFTA countries Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland are covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme. As well as covering all scheduled flights by the major airlines, many private and corporate flights are included in the scheme. Certain flights are exempt, for example those using aircraft below 5.7 tonnes maximum take-off weight or search and rescue or military flights. Military flights for the purposes of transporting EU heads of state are however covered.
  2. Full details of the application of EU Emissions Scheme to aviation are available on the European Commission: Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) web pages: Reducing emissions from the aviation sector - Policies - Climate Action - European Commission.
  3. There is no requirement to surrender allowances to cover emissions for 2010 or 2011. 
  4. The allocation is calculated by multiplying the verified tonne-kilometre data for each operator by the applicable benchmark: operators carrying either goods or passengers are eligible for future allocation of free allowances in accordance with a benchmark provided they monitored their payload known as tonne-kilometre data (tonnes of cargo and/or passengers and their luggage multiplied by distance travelled) in 2010 and submitted a report to the EPA.  Application for a free allocation was not mandatory and many operators did not apply.
  5. The values of benchmarks for 2012 and 2013-2020 trading periods were announced by the European Commission on 26th September. See the Commission’s website: Allocation of aviation allowances in an EEA-wide Emissions Trading System - Policies - Climate Action - European Commission