EU claims victory in airline emissions wrangle
in Europe’s emissions trading system, the European Union’s transport chief has
said Siim Kallas, the EU transport commissioner, claiming a diplomatic victory
in a long-running dispute between the EU and US over how to curb airline greenhouse
including foreign carriers that fly to Europe. Under the system, the centrepiece
in Europe’s plan to fight global warming, airlines would be forced to join industrial
installations in paying for excessive carbon dioxide emissions.
launched a legal challenge to the move in the UK last December, since referred
to the European court of justice in Luxembourg.
190 members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the UN agency that
co-ordinates aviation policy, could weaken their argument in that case, and possibly
invite new legal challenges.
to get "mutual consent" from the US and other governments before applying the
ETS to their carriers. Ahead of this assembly, the US, Canada and Mexico had circulated
a working paper with similar language.
which would make the application of the EU’s ETS to their airlines dependent on
the mutual agreement of other states".
which said the majority of ICAO countries had approved the mutual consent language,
but had allowed the EU to take a different view.
of justice, said Nancy Young, vice-president for environmental affairs, adding
that the EU’s characterisation of the ICAO deal could prompt other countries to
launch their own cases.
provided much-needed "political legitimacy" to the ETS outside of Europe.
would be penalised by the ETS and subject to an uneven playing field. That, in
turn, could have brought calls to overturn the system or impose sanctions against
for aviation and everyone would be a loser," Mr Kallas said.
figure is expected to increase in the years ahead as air travel grows.
reductions goals than it had hoped. While the EU has committed to reducing its
aviation sector’s emissions 10% from 2005 levels by 2020, ICAO called only for
an "aspirational goal" of freezing emissions growth from 2020.
clause that allows special exemptions for those that make "equivalent efforts."