The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has welcomed the decision of the European Parliament to endorse, via the approval of an amendment, the exception of the Canary Islands until 2030 in the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trading regime for air connections with the countries that make up the European Economic Area, given their status as the outermost region (OR) within the EU, known as the Green Tax.
The exception has been achieved through the approval of an amendment to the complementary directive that regulates the market for CO2 emission rights in air connections. This measure had already been achieved for flights between islands and from the Canary Islands to the Peninsula.
The president stressed that "the principle of the ORs has been safeguarded", with the approved amendment, for the unique treatment of obligations in air transport.
This measure, key to the economic future of the Canary Islands, has been feasible thanks to an amendment by the European Socialist Group promoted by the Canarian MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar and which achieved the necessary support from different political parties to be introduced in today's vote. Then he obtained the majority support of the European Parliament.
The amendment proposes to exempt the nine ORs in the emission rights market for flights between the islands and the member countries of the European Economic Area, which thus joins the exception already achieved, also until 2030, for flights to the Peninsula and between the islands themselves. The report on which this achievement is based has also been approved and it establishes the negotiating position of the European Parliament from now on on this same issue, so that this exception can also be accepted by the European Council and the European Commission .
The majority support for this amendment, the Canarian president has detailed, does not mean the definitive approval of the so-called complementary directive on air transport, since it has yet to be ratified by the European Council and the European Commission, Torres has declared himself "very satisfied" with what has been achieved because “the option that what is endorsed by the European Parliament is modified is almost non-existent“.
With this process, the unique treatment and respect for the specificities of the ORs in the transition towards the decarbonisation of the EU are reinforced, both due to their remoteness and their insularity and economic dependence and in the mobility of air and maritime connections , especially due to the weight of sectors such as tourism and the distance from the European continent.