Since 2012, the CO2 emissions of all domestic and international flights departing or landing at European airports have been covered by the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
The geographic scope for the period from 2013 to 2023 is limited to flights within Europe. For the period from 2017 to 2023, this is governed by regulation (EU) 2017/2392.
This creates room for CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), the worldwide system developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which will come into force in 2021. In October 2019, an agreement was concluded with regard to this worldwide system and the emissions produced in 2019 have already been monitored as part of the CORSIA baseline.
In 2017, an agreement was entered into by the European Union and Switzerland for the purpose of linking their emissions trading systems. As a result, flights from the EU to Switzerland have fallen under the scope of EU ETS since 1 January 2020 and flights from Switzerland to the EU under the Swiss ETS (CH ETS).
The CO2 emissions of all domestic and international flights between European airports and, as from January 2021, from European airports to Switzerland will come under the European emissions trading system (EU ETS). The CO2 emissions of these flights must be reported on and offset in full each year.
The CO2 emissions of flights from Switzerland to European airports have been covered by the Swiss emissions trading system (CH ETS) since 1 January 2020. The CO2 emissions produced by these flights must be reported on and offset in full each year. A so-called ‘one-stop-shop’, whereby airlines report to only one competent authority to fulfil their obligations under both the EU ETS and CH ETS, has been set up to make this process as convenient as possible for the airlines.
In addition to the EU ETS, which covers flights within Europe, preparations are underway to enable the aviation industry to participate in the worldwide system, CORSIA. This system is aimed at offsetting the growth in emissions from international flights as compared to average emissions produced in the baseline years 2019 and 2020. The European Commission has transposed the CORSIA system in European regulations. How CORSIA will relate to the EU ETS is not yet clear. That will depend on the political decision-making.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAO has decided to use only the year 2019 as the baseline period in the initial phase of CORSIA, lasting from 2021 to 2023. Which years will be included in the baseline period in subsequent phases will be considered as soon as it is clear what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the aviation industry and CORSIA.