Non EU countries and airlines continue to warn of retaliatory action against EU ETS

IATA says there is a risk that countries outside the EU could take retaliatory
action against the EU’s ETS. On 6th October an advocate general to the European
Court of Justice will issue an opinion on a request by US airlines for non-European
carriers to be excluded from the ETS. This should give a steer on the subsequent
ruling by the ECJ, which the EC is confident will side with the EU rather than
the US airlines. They want a scheme run through ICAO.

Turbulence hits EU airline pollution scheme

4.10.2011 (Financial Times)

See the full article (excerpts below) at

By Andrew Parker in London


Airlines face being caught up in a global trade war as opposition grows to the
European Union’s controversial plan to make carriers pay for their pollution,
the aviation industry’s main representative body warned on Monday.


On Thursday, an advocate general to the European Court of Justice will issue an opinion on
a request by US airlines for non-European carriers to be excluded from the EU
scheme. This should give a steer on the subsequent ruling by the ECJ, which the
European Commission is confident will side with the EU rather than the US airlines

Last Friday, 21 countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and
China issued a declaration opposing how the EU scheme will apply to flights that
start or end in one of the bloc’s 27-member states. They say the scheme was inconsistent
with international law and should not apply to flights by non-EU carriers.


“That is the worst possible outcome for us – the airlines being caught in the
middle of a trade war,” said Mr Tyler. “Other countries saying to Europe ‘OK,
if you are hitting our airlines with additional cost, which you should not be
doing, we will hit your airlines’ – none of us wants that.”

He also noted that China, partly in protest at the EU scheme, threatened in June
to derail a deal under which Hong Kong Airlines would order 10 superjumbo A380
aircraft from Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS, the European aerospace and defence

Mr Tyler said the EU should abandon its plan to bring airlines within its emissions
trading scheme, adding the issue should be tackled through a global industry framework
devised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN agency.


A spokesman for Connie Hedegaard, the European climate change commissioner, said
the EU scheme was consistent with international law, adding the bloc was willing
to engage with countries that had concerns about it. The spokesman said ICAO’s
member states had been unable to agree on how to tackle the aviation industry’s
emissions and, therefore, the EU had decided it was time to act.


see also – older news:


“IATA WARNS EU OVER ‘ILLEGAL’ CARBON PLAN” threatening Chinese retaliation over

June 6, 2011 (Reuters)

Global airlines warned the European Union of the risks of a possible trade dispute
over ‘illegal’ plans to charge the industry for emissions, saying they echoed
environmental failures of the past.

Comments from the International Air Transport Association stepped up a war of
words as European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard refused to back down over
EU plans to make airlines buy permits for carbon emissions above a certain level.

“She would do well to listen to the growing chorus of countries strongly opposed
to an illegal extraterritorial scheme,” IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani

“The last thing that we want to see is a trade war. Chinese delegates were in
Brussels recently; many other countries have formally expressed concerns,” he

Industry and diplomatic sources have said China threatened retaliation against
European airlines and plane maker Airbus if the EU goes ahead with its plans.

“We have to absolutely avoid retaliation because the risk of retaliation for
a Europe that is in survival mode would be the kiss of death,” Bisignani said.

“I hope that, once Europe starts receiving this kind of strong message, they
would understand that you cannot go on with an illegal scheme. This is illegal,”
he added.

He said the scheme was the latest in a series of flawed moves. “This will simply
be Copenhagen 2,” he said, referring to the failure in 2009 to reach a binding
global climate deal.

Hedegaard said in Brussels earlier that the EU should not back down to trade
threats and had agreed on the legislation which comes into effect on January 1,


see also interesting Financial Times article

Airbus chief warns on emissions policy


and Financial Times Editorial (6.6.2011)

Greener skies over Europe
that says

Airlines have put in abeyance their former argument: that the policy violates
the Chicago convention on international aviation. The European Court of Justice
is on the case. If it rules this sensible policy to be against the law, the law
should be changed. Until then, the EU is right to press ahead.

Airlines – and Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer – now use another argument: China or other powers
will retaliate against them if Brussels does not change course and leave airlines
out of ETS.

It is a mystery why China or others would see it in their interest to retaliate
against a policy that treats EU and non-EU carriers exactly the same – unless
they are captured by an industry’s fighting the costs that ETS involves (which
are modest: 85 per cent of the permits are given away for free)

……..      Ms Hedegaard is right to warn against cowering to threats of discriminatory retaliation
for a non-discriminatory policy. Europe has chosen, maybe to its disadvantage,
to lead on climate policy. Others should not undo its choice for it.
see also earlier

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

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.  1.6.2011
from Connie Hedegaard’s website
31/05/2011 –
Time to get serious about aviation emissions!

by Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard