Court Offers Preliminary Opinion On Aircraft Greenhouse Gas


  Bookmark and Share

Court Offers Preliminary Opinion On Aircraft Greenhouse Gas

By Daniel Baxter

October 7, 2011 - The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, on Thursday stated it was disappointed in the preliminary opinion issued by the Advocate General in the European Court of Justice regarding the lawsuit challenging the unilateral application of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to international aviation (Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association). 

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) also known as the European Union Emissions Trading System, was the first large emissions trading scheme in the world. It was launched in 2005 and is a major pillar of EU climate policy. Ultimately, the European Commission wishes the post-2012 ETS to include all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including aviation. Aviation and maritime were excluded from the 1997 Kyoto protocol.

Greg Barker, the UK's climate change minister, stated "We welcome ... legal opinion. The UK and EU will continue to robustly defend our policy to bring aviation into the EU's emissions trading system and believe it is consistent with international law. The aviation industry, in the same way as other industries, needs to play its part in reducing emissions."

?The Air Transport Association is disappointed that Advocate General Kokott does not believe that the European Union is bound by the Chicago Convention, the treaty governing aviation, and that the unilateral application of the EU ETS to international aviation otherwise does not violate law.  

?ATA?s view that the extension of this unilateral, regional scheme to aviation violates international law is supported by more than 20 countries, (including Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan, the United States and many others), which recently reconfirmed their opposition to the EU. 

"This action is an important step in the court process, but, as it is a non-binding, preliminary opinion, it does not mark the end of this case. The opinion will provide a basis on which the judges assigned to the case can further deliberate and come to a full and unanimous decision. In complex cases such as this one, it would not be unusual for the full Court?s final opinion to vary from the preliminary opinion.?


The ATA, which brought the legal action in 2009 on behalf of all of its members, said in its argument that aviation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be regulated on a global sectoral basis.  

ATA also opposes the application of the EU ETS to U.S. airlines on policy grounds, as it imposes an exorbitant tax that siphons away from aviation the very funds it needs to continue to invest in aircraft technology, sustainable alternative fuels and infrastructure advances to build upon its strong record of fuel efficiency improvements and emissions savings. 

ATA is part of an industry wide aviation coalition that has committed to continuing the industry?s strong record of GHG emissions savings and has proposed the adoption of a global sectoral approach by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations body charged with setting standards for international aviation.

In October 2010, ICAO adopted a resolution with targets and principles broadly consistent with the industry?s approach, demonstrating that the industry and governments are coalescing around a common platform for addressing aviation GHG emissions at the global level. The full European Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ?AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator