EC publishes key final list for emissions scheme

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European regulators have published a revised list of air operators and the EU member states that will administrate their participation in its emissions trading scheme from 2012, expanding by more than 1,000 the number of operators which based on historical data would be touched by the scheme.

The EC published a preliminary list covering around 2,700 air operators earlier this year, designating a single member EU state to be responsible for their participation in the scheme. A final version of the list, which is based on historical data covering the three-year period from 2006 to 2008 rather than necessarily the actual carriers which will be covered by the scheme, has now been published to cover around 1,000 additional operators.

Publication of the final list is a key milestone as delays dog the process for airlines to submit their plans for monitoring emissions. Under the original deadline, airlines are required to submit their plans for monitoring their emssions by the end of August. Monitoring of airline emissions in 2010 will form the basis for the share of free carbon allowances airlines will be entitled when the scheme begins in 2012.

But the final list has only now been published and some national regulators, notably including the UK which will handle the largest number of carriers, have already extended the deadline beyond August for airlines' to submit their monitoring plans. Others, such as Italy, are only now appointing the relevent competent body.

IATA assistant director, aviation environment, Quentin Browell says implementation is causing considerable concern, as the competent authorities are moving at different speeds. "For airlines in Europe, it is clear who their authority is. For those outside Europe, it's not so clear. Many are ready to submit their plans, but others are struggling to understand what is required."

The EC has stressed the 2010 start for airlines to montior their emissions will remain in place. Under aviation's inclusion in the EU emissions trading scheme, all carriers flying into the EU regardless of their country of origin, will be covered by the scheme from the start of 2012.