Airline protests fly over EU ETS

10th November 2011


Airline

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  • Transport ,
  • EU ,
  • Carbon Trading ,
  • Mitigation

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IEMA

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has renewed its calls for non-EU airlines to be exempt from the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS)

At a meeting on 2 November, 26 members of the ICAO, including China and the US, voted in favour of challenging the EU’s plans to include emissions from flights into and out of Europe when the aviation sector is included in the scheme at the start of next year, despite the fact that a senior adviser to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has concluded that the plans to include them do not contravene international law.

According to EU estimates, the extension of the ETS to cover aviation could save 72 million tonnes of CO2 each year by 2020, a 26% reduction in emissions compared with business as usual.

The launch of the ICAO’s formal protest against the ETS follows a preliminary analysis from the ECJ signalling that a legal challenge by US airlines will be dismissed.

ECJ advocate general Juliane Kokott examined the arguments and concluded the revised ETS Directive did not breach any international agreements or laws. While not legally binding, Kokott’s conclusions are a clear indication that the American airlines’ case will fail when it comes to court early next year.

Days later, in the US, a Bill was introduced in the Senate that would effectively make it illegal for American airlines to comply with the ETS.

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