ICAO Nixes EU Go-It-Alone Emissions Plan

 - November 3, 2011, 3:23 PM

Led by the U.S., China and two dozen other nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a “working paper” yesterday urging the European Union not to include non-EU carriers in its emissions trading scheme (ETS). EU-ETS is to begin January 1. However, ICAO said the working paper was approved by “a clear majority” of its members. As an arm of the United Nations, ICAO called for “urgent action” to head off an international trade war. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed legislation that bans U.S. operators from participating in the EU-ETS. Then in an apparent tit-for-tat move yesterday, European bioethanol producers asked EU trade authorities to investigate whether U.S. farmers are receiving illegal subsidies from the U.S. government for bioethanol. Under the EU-ETS, operators will have to buy permits to help offset greenhouse emissions from jets operating to, from and within Europe. The International Air Transport Association said earlier that the industry is ready to adopt market-based tools to control emissions, but it urged the EU to act in cooperation with nations outside of the EU.