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European Union

Green deal could mean stricter rules for airlines

The European Union wants to become climate neutral by 2050: The goal is to be achieved with a multitude of measures. Aviation will also be affected.

In 2050, Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent. The newly proposed Green Deal stipulates that by then there can only be as many climate-harming emissions in the EU as can be absorbed naturally or with the help of technological solutions. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, intends to present a climate law by March next year.

Von der Leyen wants to achieve this goal by significantly tightening the reduction target by 2030 compared to the previous planning. While the EU has been aiming for a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, this interim target should now be 50 to 55 percent.

Ecological restructuring of the economy

In order to achieve this mark, the Commission wants to review all EU regulations for their climate compatibility. In addition, there is a wide range of measures. Among other things, an industrial strategy is being considered which is intended to drive forward the ecological restructuring of the economy. The barriers to the import of climate-damaging products are to be raised.

In addition, the emissions trading system is to be expanded, stricter regulations on air and water pollution are to be introduced and transport of pf goods is to be shifted increasingly from road to rail. The annual investments of 230 billion euros needed to achieve the milestones by 2030 alone will be triggered by a sustainable investment plan.

Stricter rules for aviation

The Green Deal also provides for measures for aviation. As with other transport services, «the price must reflect the impact of transport on the environment and health», the Commission says. It wants to abolish subsidies for fossil fuels, review tax exemptions for kerosene and close loopholes where necessary.

In addition, the aviation industry is to receive fewer free certificates as part of emissions trading. The measures are to be coordinated with international efforts – the climate protection instrument Corsia of the aviation organisation Icao. In addition, the Commission wants to introduce the Single European Sky.

Aviation reacts cautiously in favour

The reaction of the aviation industry to the EU Green Deal is cautiously supportive. In principle, the industry stands behind the goal of an emission-free Europe by 2050. In a press release of the Federal Association of the German Air Transport Industry BDL, President Klaus-Dieter Scheurle welcomes the «roadmap for climate protection» presented by the Commission. But he adds, what is needed is an orderly international approach instead of a patchwork of national solo attempts.

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