Title/Subject: European struggles and American resistance: inclusion of aviation into the EU ETS
Supervisors: Dr Peter H. Feindt / Dr Richard Cowell
Pawel’s research focuses on international dimensions of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) - a CO2 trading scheme – and specifically the move by the EU to include international aviation within this scheme. This extension of the EU ETS can be viewed as unilateral step of the European Union (EU) to regulate a global issue, which sets a new path for environmental governance, bypassing international organisations responsible hitherto for aviation regulation. Important questions therefore arise about the nature of this policy change, how it came about, and the arguments it has generated in policy-making processes on both sides of the Atlantic.
Aviation is a rapidly growing industry sector whose development has been related to climate change due to CO2 emissions produced, but which has been treated as exceptional in certain important respects (kerosene exempted from taxes, international flight tickets exempted from VAT, various sectoral tax reliefs). The recent efforts of the EU led to the inclusion of international aviation into the EU ETS. According to the regulations all carriers whose flights are landing or departing on the EU territory are required to buy CO2 allowances to cover emissions produced throughout the whole trip.
The aim of this research is to analyse the policy-making processes surrounding the process of including aviation in the EU ETS, both within Europe itself, and in the international responses coming from the US and organisations such as International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The research asks what are the differences surrounding aviation pollution policy in the EU and US and how can those be understood in a broader context of multi-level governance?
The answer will be provided by the analysis of how different actors (industry, authorities, environmental non-governmental organisations (eNGOs), sectoral organisations) have been participating in decision-making or reacting to the policy change. The research design involves policy documents analysis coupled with high-profile interviews. This study contributes to understanding the mechanisms of decision-making in aviation both in the US and the EU context. It improves understanding transnational policy networks and the strategies they use to influence decision-making and their dynamics
Pawel’s project was started with a pilot run in June-August 2012. The data collection will take place between February-May 2013 in the US and in October-December 2013 in the EU context. The thesis is to be submitted by September 2015.