House Lawmakers Seek to Bar Airlines From EU Carbon Program

20.7.2011 (Bloomberg)

By William McQuillen

Members of the House of Representatives are seeking to keep U.S. airlines, including
Delta Air Lines Inc and AMR Corp, from being part of the European Union’s cap-and-trade
program for greenhouse gases.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers today introduced a bill to bar U.S. carriers
from participating in the EU’s efforts next year.
The program, aimed at emissions such as carbon dioxide that are linked to climate
change, would cost U.S. carriers $1.3 billion in its first year and may top $3.5
billion, Representative John Mica, the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee chairman, told reporters in Washington.

The EU plan is a “cash grab,” said Mica, a Florida Republican.

Starting next year, international airlines will have to account for emissions
on flights to and from EU airports, and offset that amount with carbon permits
from the bloc’s exchange. The EU will give airlines free allowances in 2012 for
82 percent of their historic emissions, with 15 percent auctioned and the remaining
3 percent held in a special reserve.

“The European Union plans to unilaterally thrust an emissions trading scheme
upon U.S. airlines in violation of international agreements and laws,” said Representative
Nick Rahall of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the committee.

The EU trading program is “a shell game,” Rahall said, because “no one can say
with certainty that the money will be used for its intended purpose.”

International Law

The carbon rule is “compatible with the international law,” Isaac Valero-Ladron,
spokesman for EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, said in an e-mail

The EU will not back down unless the U.S. adopts similar measures with comparable
environmental effects for its air carriers,
Valero-Ladron said.

The House bill would direct the U.S. Transportation secretary to prohibit carriers
from participating in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. U.S. officials also would
be instructed to negotiate or take action to make sure the carriers aren’t penalized
by the EU plan.

Aviation accounts for about 3 percent of the EU’s total greenhouse-gas emissions
and most of the atmospheric releases come from international flights, according
to the union’s website.

“It’s sad that the only thing both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives
seem to be able to agree on is to try to stop EU action to tackle growing aircraft
pollution,” Hedegaard said in an e-mail. “In Europe we are looking forward to
the day where both parties, instead of criticizing what we do, can agree on positive
initiatives that benefit the global climate.”


see also



Airline attack on EU emissions trading system meets powerful opposition

Date Added: 6th July 2011


The EU, backed by 6 of its member states, Norway and an international coalition
of environmental organisations robustly defended the law integrating aviation
into the EU ETS at a hearing at the European Court of Justice.  EU countries including
France, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and Denmark, and led by the UK strongly rejected
the airline’s contention that aviation emissions can only be addressed by the
ICAO and that the system amounts to a unilateral tax.

Click here to view full story…



Environmental NGOs make a case for the EU ETS as US airlines finally near their
day in court over inclusion

Date Added: 2nd July 2011


Ahead of the hearing by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the inclusion
of US airlines into the EU ETS, environmental groups from the US and Europe have
repeated their support for the scheme on both legal and climate change grounds. Tim
Johnson of the AEF believed the scheme was “affordable for consumers, environmentally
effective and, above all, fair to industry.” The main question from the ECJ is
if the EU directive should apply to those parts of flights that take place outside
the EU.
Click here to view full story…


Connie Hedegaard says it is “Time to get serious about aviation emissions!” and
back ETS

Date Added: 1st June 2011


Connie, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, argues that aviation is rightly to
be included in the EU ETS, and it is quite fair and legal for all flights by all
airlines flying into, or out of, the EU to be included.  In 2004 ICAO endorsed
the idea of emissions trading, and it agreed it was the most effective economic
instrument for tackling aviation emissions, compared to or charges. EU legislation
on ETS is fully consistent with international law, and is not in conflict with
the Chicago Convention.

Click here to view full story…