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Brussels, 24 November 2010

Climate Action: Commission asks 7 Member States to speed up the adoption of measures to implement EU legislation on aviation emissions

The European Commission is asking Cyprus, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to speed up the adoption of legislative and administrative measures necessary for inclusion of the aviation sector in the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). To date these seven Member States have not transposed the EU ETS aviation legislation into national law. On the recommendation of Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to the Member States concerned. Failing compliance, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.

According to Directive 2008/101/EC, Member States should have transposed the ETS legislation concerning aviation into national law before 2 February 2010. Member States are required to inform the Commission once they have adopted the necessary implementation measures.

As the Commission was not notified of all necessary implementing measures by Cyprus, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, it issued a letter of formal notice to these member states on 25 March 2010.

The Commission has since received notification that legislative works are in progress in all seven countries, but no legislation has been adopted yet. Therefore, the Commission is sending the Member States concerned a reasoned opinion asking them to speed up the adoption of all the necessary implementing national measures.


Greenhouse gas emissions from the world's airlines are increasing rapidly: since 1990 they have doubled in Europe. It is projected that even with ambitious fuel efficiency improvements of 2% a year, international aviation emissions will be around 70% above their 2005 levels in 2020, and by 2050 a staggering 300-600% higher.

In order to mitigate the climate impacts of aviation, the European Union has adopted legislation to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System as of 1 January 2012. The rules are set out in directive 2008/101/EC.

The EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading started operation on 1 January 2005. Initially the EU ETS included only land based industrial installations. From 2012 aviation activities of aircraft operators that operate flights arriving at and departing from EU airports will also be included in the EU ETS. The legislation covers the 27 EU Member States and will be soon extended to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

For more details on aviation's inclusion in the EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System, please visit:

For more details on infringements in general see: MEMO/10/605

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