Emissions trading scheme: acquisition of aviation data in 2018

The integration of greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector into the Swiss emissions trading scheme (ETS) is a necessary step in order to link the Swiss and European schemes. The Ordinance governing the acquisition and reporting of data from the aviation sector entered into force on 1 July 2017. In line with the intention of the European Union, it is only domestic flights in Switzerland or flights from Switzerland to member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) that are concerned.

The Federal Council approved the signing of the agreement on the linking of the Swiss and EU emissions trading schemes at its meeting on 16 August 2017. The European Commission has also adopted proposals for the signature and ratification of the agreement and has submitted them to the Council of the EU for approval. The agreement could be signed before the end of this year. Its ratification must then be approved by the Swiss and European parliaments. After the agreement has been ratified by both contractual parties, Swiss companies will be able to access a bigger and more liquid market and benefit from the same competition conditions as European companies.

The integration of CO2 emissions from the civil aviation sector into Switzerland’s emissions trading scheme is a prerequisite for linking the two schemes. This is already the case in the European system. The European emissions trading scheme currently only encompasses flights within the EEA (i.e. the EU, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), and the European Commission intends to maintain this regulation for the time being.

The Ordinance, which regulates the preparation of the acquisition of aviation-related data for Switzerland, entered into force on 1 July 2017. In line with the intention of the European Commission, the Ordinance only applies to domestic flights and to flights from Switzerland to an EEA member state. Special provisions apply for the binational Basel-Mulhouse Airport. In order to determine the maximum quantity of available emission allowances for the aviation sector in the Swiss ETS and the number of emission allowances to be allocated free of charge to aircraft operators (companies or private individuals), the data have to be collected in the form of tonne-kilometres. The Ordinance specifies how the tonne-kilometres have to be calculated.

The data acquisition requirement applies to around 120 aircraft operators, of which around a hundred foreign and a dozen Swiss operators are already included in the EU ETS. The procedure will be new for only a small number of Swiss operators.

The involved aircraft operators have to submit a monitoring plan to the FOEN for approval by not later than 30 September 2017. This plan has to describe how the relevant tonne-kilometres are to be recorded in 2018. Data acquisition is to take place from 1 January to 31 December 2018. The operators will then have to submit a verified monitoring report with the acquired tonne-kilometre data by 31 March 2019.

Templates for drawing up a monitoring plan and monitoring report in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance are available on this website under “Documents”. In addition, guidelines for preparing a monitoring plan, plus a sample monitoring plan and a collection of frequently asked questions, have also been posted on the site. The text of the Ordinance and an accompanying explanatory report can be viewed under “Legislation”.

Questions should be addressed to: climate@bafu.admin.ch

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Last modification 22.09.2017

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