RAF’s wings could be clipped as military face inclusion in European emission trading scheme

RAF could need carbon trading certificates to fight as from 2010

Brussels, 8th November 2007 — From 2010 the RAF could be considered so energy-intensive that its greenhouse gas emissions would be capped and the Government would be required to buy ‘emissions permits’ in order to allow fighters to perform their duties.

This is the possibility if next week’s vote in the European Parliament succeeds in incorporating military flights within the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). An amendment calls for military flights performed by military aircrafts as part of an international mission to be exempted from the ETS but not those flights performing a purely national mission.*

The ETS was launched in 2005, and aims to cap greenhouse gas emissions from industries and allow companies to buy and sell emissions permits with each other. Conservatives will support the package aimed at bringing the aviation sector into the existing scheme. However, military flights and flights that are part of a humanitarian mission** must not be included.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament and former Minister for Aerospace, warned:

“We believe in this proposal to put Europe at the forefront of the fight against climate change but attempts to include military flights if they are not “part of an international mission” are unrealistic. Conservatives will vote to make sure that all military flights are excluded from the scheme.”

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