Case law: CJEU to consider equal treatment of Switzerland

28th April 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Transport ,
  • Carbon Trading ,
  • Reporting



In Swiss International Airlines v Secretary of state for energy and climate change and Environment Agency [2015], the airline challenged the validity of UK regulations implementing EU decision 377/2013/EU.

This temporarily excludes flights between the European economic area and other countries but not Switzerland from the emissions trading system.

Rather than challenge the EU decision directly, the airline sought a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by challenging the validity of the UK regulations. It argued that the decision breached the principle in EU law of equal treatment by treating Switzerland differently from other countries.

The company’s initial case for judicial review was rejected for two reasons: the principle of equal treatment did not apply to differential treatment by the EU towards third countries; and, even if it did apply, there was no arguable case that it had been breached in this case. The airline appealed and the UK court of appeal considered the “external affairs” exception to the EU principle of equal treatment.

The airline argued that the exception must be construed narrowly and precisely. The court noted that the EU landscape had changed in many ways since the CJEU last had a chance to consider the scope of the external relations exception to the principle of equal treatment.

Although the appeal court said it could see great force in the approach adopted by the judge in the earlier hearing, it was not free from doubt. As a result, the court allowed the appeal, granted permission for the airline to apply for judicial review and referred two key questions to the CJEU.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

IEMA and IFoA publish guide to climate-related financial disclosures

IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) have today published up-to-date guidance to help companies and individuals understand climate-related financial information.

22nd February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Three-quarters of UK adults are concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their bills, according to polling commissioned by Positive Money.

13th February 2024

Read more

Tom Pashby reviews Anna Trompetas’s OffSet, a dystopian climate fiction novel that explores questions of morality, motherhood and class inequality

1st February 2024

Read more

Almost 100 global companies have signed up to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) First Movers Coalition, which aims to transform the supply chains across high-emitting sectors.

24th January 2024

Read more

Up to three quarters of the global building industry’s emissions could be slashed if the engineering and construction sectors embedded circular economy principles in their operations, according to a major report.

18th January 2024

Read more

Matt Tompsett looks beyond tree planting to the pros and cons of land and sea-based carbon sequestration projects.

15th January 2024

Read more

The reality of delivering net zero is that we need solutions tailored to specific areas. Peter Gudde explores models that local authorities could adopt

15th January 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close