Negotiations continue for ETS Support Facility

 - June 29, 2010, 1:13 PM

Eurocontrol’s ETS Support Facility has still not been definitively confirmed as an option for operators to meet their obligations to monitor, report and verify carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). The air traffic management agency is still negotiating with the government of Ukraine, which was the one member state to oppose the funding and development of the ETS Support Facility at the May 6 meeting of the Eurocontrol air navigation services board. Immediately after the meeting, Eurocontrol indicated that further negotiations would be resolved within a few weeks, but talks were still continuing as of press time.

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has indicated that if the ETS Support Facility is blocked, so-called small emitters such as bizav operators would find compliance with the complex requirements of the ETS completely unworkable.
In these circumstances, EBAA had said it could advise operators to withdraw cooperation from the program and, effectively, refuse to comply.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Air Transport Association (ATA) that seeks to block the enforcement of ETS on non-European airlines is to go to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). On May 27, England’s High Court, where the action was initially filed, ruled that the case should go to the ECJ in Luxembourg for a ruling on whether European Union law supports the application of the ETS beyond carriers from EU member states.

The ATA is insisting that moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from airliners must be implemented multilaterally via the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). However, the European Commission was prompted to initiate the unilateral ETS program after becoming frustrated at what it regarded as years of regulatory delays at ICAO, which has been debating aviation environmental impact for years without agreeing to any specific requirements.