Comments On EU Advocate General's Preliminary Opinion
The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) issued a
statement Wednesday in response to 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 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," the organization said. "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
"Today's 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.