Opponents of EU airline CO2 scheme to meet in Moscow
A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU ETS will meet in Moscow on February 21 to discuss a plan of action. The governments, which include Russia, India, China and the US, claim the ETS is discriminatory and illegal, and some are prohibiting their carriers from complying. They argue the scheme violates the Chicago Convention and some WTO provisions. The group last met in New Delhi in late September 2011, where it issued a joint declaration against the scheme and agreed to lodge a formal protest with the ICAO. Since then the European Court of Justice found that the EU plan was within international law. The EU is not going to back down, as there is no other working scheme to check aviation emissions.
A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU’s aviation emissions trading scheme will meet in Moscow on February 21 to discuss a plan of action, EU and Indian sources told Reuters on Monday.
The governments, which include Russia, India, China and the U.S., claim an EU law forcing all airlines touching down or taking off within the bloc to pay for their CO2 emissions from last month is discriminatory and illegal, and some are prohibiting their carriers from complying.
They argue the scheme violates the Chicago Convention on international aviation as well as some provisions under the World Trade Organisation.
The group last met for a two-day meeting in New Delhi in late September 2011, where it issued a joint declaration against the scheme and agreed to lodge a formal protest with the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
But that remonstration has since been overshadowed by a December ruling by the European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court, which found that the EU plan was within international law.
The EU said in the absence of a global effort to curb aircraft emissions, it will not back down from putting a price on carbon needed to guard against future climate impacts such as crop failures, droughts and flooding.
But China on Monday threatened to bar its airlines from abiding by what it calls a unilateral trade barrier, hardening its stance days before an EU-China summit at which European leaders will seek help to ease the region’s debt crisis.
(Reporting By Barbara Lewis in Brussels and Krittivas Mukherjee in New Delhi, Writing by Michael Szabo)
Related Reuters News
- China bars airlines from EU emissions schemeMon, Feb 6 2012
- U.S. Congress to oppose EU law on aircraft emissionsWed, Feb 1 2012See earlier stories on the ETS and opposition to it:
Chinese airlines refuse to pay EU carbon tax
Date added: January 4, 2012
The 4 main Chinese airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, which fly millions of passengers to Europe each year, have said they will not pay the ETS charges. This might lead to a ban from European airports. There are warnings of a trade war, and it has been suggested that China’s airlines should counter by reducing purchases of Airbus aircraft. The ETS costs expanding airlines more than those not expanding. China says it is still at the stage of rapid expansion of their airline industries and so find it difficult to cut overall emissions.
Aviation joining ETS not likely to increase air fares any time soon
Date added: January 3, 2012
The Telegraph, which has long campaigned against taxes on aviation or anything that increases the price of flying, complains about the recent entry of aviation into the EU ETS. And how it will increase the cost of flying …. in 10 years time…. The price of carbon is now very low – at about €7 – 8 per tonne of carbon, making permits cheap. Increases in fares will not happen till 2013. Many airlines will not pass on the extra price to their customers, as demand is weak at present due to the recession. Airlines get 85% of their allowances free in the first year, and between 2013 and 2020, airlines will get 82% of the permits for free, with 15% auctioned to meet additional needs and 3% set aside for new entrants to the scheme.
Airlines to enter emissions trading scheme from 1st January 2012
Date added: December 31, 2011
On 1st January, aviation joins the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Airlines will have to obtain carbon credits for all carbon emitted during flights into and out of Europe. This could save around 183 million tonnes of CO2 each year by 2020. Passengers could expect between €0.5 and just under €3 to be added to ticket prices as a direct consequence of the ETS and easyJet said the cost would be about 30 – 50p per passenger for flights within Europe. Permits do not need to actually be handed over till 2013. In practice airlines are getting 85% of the permits they need in the first year free, so they are in a good position to make windfall profits out of them scheme. Airlines are trying to make out that they are already being charged an environmental tax, in APD. But APD is not seen by the government as being an environmental tax. Air passengers are therefore not being charged twice for their travel carbon emissions.
EU airline carbon tax (Emissions Trading System) backed by European Court
Date added: December 21, 2011
EU plans to levy an emissions tax on airlines are valid, according to the European Court of Justice. The decision means all airlines flying to and from the 27 states of the EU will face a tax on emissions from 1 January. US, Canadian and other carriers argue the charges violate climate change and aviation pacts but the ECJ ruled that the ETS does not infringe the principles of customary international law at issue or the Open Skies Agreement. Airlines can choose whether to fly to EU countries, or not. The US House of Representatives passed a measure two months ago directing the US transport secretary to prohibit US carriers from participating in the scheme if it were to come into force.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS HAIL HISTORIC COURT DECISION UPHOLDING EUROPEAN LAW TO CURB AIRPLANE POLLUTION, ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
Date added: December 21, 2011
A transatlantic coalition of environmental groups today applauded the decision of Europe’s highest court to uphold the EU law to reduce carbon pollution from airplanes. The decision, from the Court of Justice of the European Union, affirms that the EU law is fully compliant with international law. This is their final ruling. The EU Aviation Directive, the world’s only mandatory program to address emissions from aviation, will take effect in January 2012. The Court’s decision makes clear that existing law bars precisely the discriminatory treatment of airlines that the United States and others are calling for.