India and the USA oppose EU plan to include flights within European airspace in ETS

India has said it will oppose the EU’s plan to include flights from all airlines in European airspace (other than airlines from most developing countries).  The USA also opposes the plan, with a US  politician saying the EU proposal is contrary to  a law intended to shield US airlines from such charges. Last week the European Commission proposed making all airlines pay for emissions only over European airspace – rather than the original system in which the carbon from the full length of all flights using EU airports.  USA, India and China want the EU to back down, so no aviation emissions anywhere are included in a charging system. India and China contribute well over 1% of global aviation CO2, so they were included, unlike smaller and poor countries. Reuters says that along with China, India has defied the EU, even refusing to submit emissions data before the EU suspended it for a year amid threats of a trade war.  The US might go as far as invoking a law signed by President Barack Obama in November 2012 that would shield Us airlines from what US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx may deem to be an unfair charge.


India, US dig in against EU air carbon charge

By Valerie Volcovici and Devidutta Tripathy

WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI | Tue Oct 22, 2013 (Reuters)

India voiced firm opposition on Tuesday to EU plans to impose a scaled-back carbon charge on flights over European airspace while a senior U.S. lawmaker said the EU proposal runs afoul of a law intended to shield U.S. airlines from such charges.

The European Commission, the EU executive, last week proposed to make all airlines pay for emissions over European airspace in a retreat from a suspended EU law that covered the duration of flights using EU airports.

India said the EU proposal defies a global aviation agreement hammered out in Montreal earlier this month at an assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the U.N. body in charge of civil air travel.

“What they (the European Commission) have now done is in total conflict with what the ICAO has decided. The multilateral body has to intervene in this matter,” K.N. Shrivastava, India’s aviation secretary, told Reuters.

Along with China, India has defied the European Union move, even refusing to submit emissions data before the EU suspended it for a year amid threats of a trade war.

The EU proposal also could push the U.S. government to invoke a law signed by President Barack Obama in November 2012 that would shield U.S. airlines from what Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx may deem an unfair charge.

Republican Senator John Thune, who introduced the measure in the Senate, will raise the issue in a letter to Foxx and other U.S. officials, his office said. The law gives the secretary of transportation the authority to ensure that U.S. carriers are not penalized by unilateral EU emissions charges.

“Senator Thune believes that any such effort by the European Commission would be in direct violation of the legislation that was signed into law last year to hold U.S. air carriers harmless from such unilateral actions,” Thune spokesperson Andi Fouberg told Reuters.

ICAO negotiators this month reached a consensus on a market-based system to curb carbon emissions from airlines by 2020, but rejected a proposal to let Europe apply its own plan to foreign carriers in the meantime. The deal averted a looming global trade dispute over aviation emissions.

U.S. airlines hope that because the European Commission’s most recent proposal was a draft, the Europeans will revise the plan in line with what was agreed to at ICAO, according to Vaughn Jennings, spokesman for the industry group Airlines for America (A4A).

The European Commission said it is acting in good faith.

“Limiting it to EU airspace and not touching on somebody’s else’s airspace. That’s our interpretation of what was said in Montreal,” Artur Runge-Metzger, director for international climate strategy in the Commission’s climate department, told Reuters.

For the proposal to go into effect, it needs the approval of member states and the European Parliament.





Earlier news stories about this are below:


European Commission proposes applying EU ETS only to European regional airspace from 1 January 2014

October 16, 2013

The European Commission has proposed amending the ETS so that aviation emissions would be covered just for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace (including over the North Sea or Mediterranean). The adjustment in the legislation would apply from 1 January 2014 and until a planned global market-based mechanism (MBM) becomes applicable to international aviation emissions by 2020, according to ICAO. European Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, said “Europe is taking the responsibility to reduce emissions within its own airspace until the global measure begins’. Also that the aviation sector, like other sectors, has to contribute to cuts in EU carbon emissions, as aviation emission are increasing fast – doubling since 1990. The proposal needs to be agreed by the European Parliament and the Counci, before April 2014. The proposal covers all CO2 emissions from flights between airports in the European Economic Area (EEA), including Norway and Iceland. Parts of flights outside the EEA are not covered, and flights of developing countries – of which their aviation emissions are less than 1% of the global whole – are not included.     Click here to view full story…

Grey day for environment as Europe reduces its aviation ETS coverage to only European airspace

October 16, 2013     The European Commission has, under intense international pressure, proposed to reduce its ETS for aviation to only cover flights in European airspace. The proposal would only cover 35% of aviation emissions compared to the original aviation EU ETS. It would cover flights by all airlines, except from less developed countries, which contribute 1% or less of global aviation CO2. Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said: “It is disgraceful that foreign and industry pressure has obliged Europe to shrink its own aviation emissions law to the bare minimum.” The EC’s text comes shortly after the conclusion of the ICAO triennial assembly, where delegates, in a political decision, finally agreed to talk about the details of a global market based measure for 2020 but rejected interim measures like the EU ETS. The current proposal would leave the vast bulk of EU aviation emissions – which come from long-haul flights – unregulated. T&E urges the European Parliament and Member States to include an option to extend the aviation emissions coverage of the ETS to a 50/50 basis in 2017.    Click here to view full story…


WWF: ICAO forgoes immediate emissions reductions for only promise of a future global plan

October 4, 2013     .In their response ot the disappointing outcome of the ICAO negotiations on curbing global aviation emissions, WWF said ICAO had missed the opportunity to start reducing emissions immediately. They have only committed to possibly agree an MBM in 2016, to come into effect in 2020. There is no guarantee they will agree it. This means little will be done before 2020. WWF said the science is clearer than ever – and 2020 is too late. Jean Leston, Transport Policy Officer of WWF-UK, said: “The world has waited 16 years for ICAO to demonstrate its serious commitment to reducing aviation emissions. What we got today seems a very small return for that effort. We expect a lot more ambition and commitment from ICAO over the next three years if a global, market-based mechanism is ever going to materialize. …..By essentially restricting the EU’s ETS for aviation to its own carriers and airspace, ICAO has handicapped the world’s leading legislation to put a price on aviation pollution and once again allowed skyrocketing emissions to continue climbing.” With the IPCC saying we need to cut CO2, leaders need to be taking every opportunity to do so.   Click here to view full story…


EU Emissions Trading System reduced to only intra-European flights

October 4, 2013    .The EU was defeated in its efforts to have ICAO recognise its right to continue charging aviation in its own market-based mechanism, the ETS. Earlier this month the EU offered to exclude emissions emitted outside EU airspace from being covered by the ETS in exchange for a deal at ICAO. Even this did not happen. “ICAO is going even beyond what the Chicago Convention allows,” said Bill Hemmings of campaign group T&E. “They’re telling the EU what it can do in its own airspace.” A spokesperson for the Commission said the EU would have to consider its next steps. Any change to the ETS scope, whether to exclude non-EU airspace or to go further and exclude all foreign airlines, would need approval from member states and the European Parliament. The European aviation industry would be likely to fiercely resist any move to exclude foreign airlines but leave them included, as it would raise competitiveness concerns. Green MEPs reacted with dismay to the ICAO outcome. “The international aviation organisation (ICAO) is both seeking to block EU action and once more stalling on urgently-needed international measures”     Click here to view full story…


Weak ICAO aviation emissions deal with action delayed till at least 2016 strikes harsh blow to EU ETS

October 4, 2013      .The ICAO talks in Montreal are now closed. ICAO cobbled together a weak resolution, that lays the foundation for a Market Based Measure (MBM) perhaps some time in future. This is to be brought to the next ICAO Assembly in 2016. ie more years of delay. The resolution states that, if an agreement on a global MBM is decided upon at the next Assembly, it must be implemented by 2020 – the year after which any growth within the industry must be carbon neutral. Jean Leston, Transport Policy Manager at WWF-UK, said: “There is nothing in this resolution that guarantees an MBM. All we’ve got is a decision to develop one over the next 3 years and then that has to go to Assembly for agreement in 2016.” Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said, “The EU put its faith in the ICAO process, and because of unacceptable weakening and delay, this faith has now been shattered.” The ICAO agreement has also decimated the EU’s ETS, which has been reduced to the bare minimum. The EU can now only impose its ETS on flights that both depart and land from within its own airspace. For aircraft emissions emitted in EU airspace by planes that have come from outside the EU, this can only be done with the consent of the other country.  Click here to view full story…