Even as the EU-ETS officially takes effect for air transport, it remains under fire politically and legally from almost every direction. The U.S., China, India, Russia and numerous other states have all made high-level protests against the cap-and-trade system–in some cases backing these up with thinly veiled threats of economic sanctions against the European Union, if it refuses to back down in its insistence on imposing ETS on operators from outside Europe.
The European Union’s controversial emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) officially takes effect beginning January 1 against a backdrop of ongoing political protests and legal challenges. But for business aircraft operators, the more immediate concern is to be ready to meet the next set of requirements for monitoring, reporting and verifying their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and preparing to start trading carbon credits.
The European Union (EU) appears to be on a political collision course with the United States and other leading nations after the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg blocked an appeal by Airlines for America (A4A) against the imposition of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) on non-European airlines.
The governing council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), meeting on November 2 in Montreal, adopted a declaration opposing the European Union’s “unilateral” action to include non-EU aircraft operators in its emissions trading scheme (ETS) as of January. By endorsing the declaration, expressed in a “working paper” advanced by 26 countries, ICAO aligned with the international airline industry and a collection of countries including Brazil, China, the U.S., India, Japan and the Russian Federation, in fighting the EU requirement.
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).
The U.S. and its allies in opposition to the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) are expected to step up political pressure on Europe after apparently failing to block the controversial cap-and-trade program on legal grounds.
The most likely solution to the battle over ETS lies in political compromise, according to Mehran Massih, counsel and head of the London-based environment practice at international law firm Shearman & Sterling. He views the European Court of Justice (ECJ) advocate general’s preliminary legal opinion as a wholesale rejection of the Air Transport Association case.
The U.S. House of Representatives helped stoke a threatened trade war with Europe, passing legislation October 24 that would prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday against U.S. participation in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS), setting up an international confrontation between Western Europe and the rest of the world.