U.S. airlines and their Congressional allies have based their opposition to the European Union’s emissions trading scheme largely on the bogus contention that it amounts to an infringement of national sovereignty, according to a policy brief commissioned by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and produced by Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Climate Advisors. The new report, published on October 11, argues that international aviation rules generally allow nations to regulate flights in and out of their territories, as long as they don’t discriminate against foreign carriers.
European Union Emission Trading Scheme
Several aviation groups, including NBAA and Airlines for America, applauded the Senate’s passage of legislation in the early hours on Saturday that prohibits operators of U.S. aircraft from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), which would require them to buy carbon credits to cover aviation carbon dioxide emissions. The Senate bill, S.1956, the “European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act,” directs the transportation secretary to prevent all U.S.
Nineteen U.S. aviation organizations–including NBAA, NATA, AOPA and GAMA–sent a joint letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to “challenge the inclusion of international aviation under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) by initiating an Article 84 proceeding in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).” Invoking Article 84 allows the ICAO council to decide disputes that cannot be settled between member states.
The long-simmering dispute over Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) heated up after a U.S. Senate committee advanced legislation that would empower the secretary of transportation to prohibit American airlines from participating in the carbon cap-and-trade construct.
While the U.S. Senate was taking further action this week to oppose the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), a coalition of industry groups sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging the Obama Administration to take action against what the group calls the “unilateral and unlawful” EU carbon tax.
TAG Aviation is tapping its own experience of having to comply with the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) to provide support to other business aircraft operators in dealing with what remains a burdensome process. Through the new TAG ETS Solutions service, the Switzerland-based business aviation services group can provide a full turnkey package covering all requirements for monitoring, reporting and verifying carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as well as actually purchasing carbon credits, which operators will have to do beginning in April next year.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) continues to protest that there should be a de minimis level of activity before business aviation operators fall under the requirements of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), due to the disproportionate costs involved and despite their ability to use Eurocontrol’s ETS Support Facility (SF) for calculating fuel-use by so-called “small emitters.”
Airbus could withdraw its commitment to increase A330 production to 11 aircraft per month in 2014 if there is no change to the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS), according to Tom Williams, executive vice-president of Airbus programs.
At a European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) session yesterday afternoon at the Canadian Business Aviation Association annual meeting, which started yesterday and concludes today in Toronto, EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba said he shares the audience’s frustration with the scheme’s many flaws. He readily acknowledged that the EU-ETS discriminates against business aviation and fails to encourage operators to reduce their carbon footprint.
While business aircraft operators tear their hair out trying to comply with the European Union’s controversial emissions trading scheme, the issue is threatening to escalate into a full-blown trade war. But an EBACE panel on ETS here in Geneva yesterday heard that the EU appears to have no intention in backing down, with the discussion underscoring the vast gulf between the aims of the carbon cap-and-trade policy and the realities of compliance.