With EU Court Decision On ETS
By Eddy Metcalf
December 27, 2011 - The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) expressed disappointment in last
weeks decision by the Court of Justice of the European
Union (CJEU) which upheld European Union (EU) plans to
include international aviation in the EU emissions
trading scheme (ETS) from 2012.
The CJEU decision represents a European legal
interpretation of EU ETS; however, the success of
Europe’s plans will depend on how non-European states
view its legal and political acceptability. In this
respect, there is growing global opposition.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO said “Decision is a disappointment but not a surprise. It does not bring us any closer to a much-needed global approach to economic measures to account for aviation’s international emissions.
"Unilateral, extra-territorial and market distorting initiatives
such as the EU ETS are not the way forward. What is needed is a
global approach agreed through the International Civil Aviation
SeeU.S. House Rejects EU Emissions Trading Scheme On U.S. Aircraft
decision was in response to a legal challenge presented by the
Air Transport Association of America (now Airlines for America),
a number of US airlines, IATA and the National Airlines Council
for Canada. Together they argued that the EU ETS contravened the
Chicago Convention which prohibits such taxation of
international aviation. The CJEU ruled that the Chicago
Convention does not bind the EU which is not a signatory and
that the ETS does not violate any other aspect of international
“The CJEU decision may reflect European confidence in European
plans. But that confidence is by no means shared by the outside
world where opposition is growing. A formal resolution of the
ICAO Council supported by 26 countries urged Europe to take a
different approach. India is reported to have instructed its
airlines not to comply. Similar legislation is moving through
the US Congress. Other legal challenges are expected. And on 16
December the US Secretaries of State and Transportation warned
that the US would be compelled to take appropriate action if
Europe does not re-think its plans.” The US letter noted that at
least 43 countries have publicly objected to Europe’s plans.
The air transport industry has made global commitments to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, to cap net emissions from 2020 and to cut net emissions in half by 2050 (compared to 2005 levels). “A global framework for economic measures is a critical component of our strategy to achieve these challenging targets. But we won’t get agreement on a global approach if states are throwing rocks at each other because Europe wants to act extra-territorially. Europe should take credit for raising the issue of aviation and climate change on the global agenda. But what is needed now is for Europe to work with the rest of the world through ICAO to achieve a global solution. This decision has not changed that reality,” said Tyler.
At its 37th
Assembly in 2010, 15 principles were agreed through ICAO for a global
framework on economic measures. A commitment to develop a framework
based on these measures for agreement at the 38th ICAO Assembly in 2013
was also achieved.
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