Fri, Dec 23, 2011
But Says Court Finding Was 'Predictable'
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed
disappointment at Wednesday’s 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.
“Today’s 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 Organization (ICAO),” said Tony
Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. (pictured)
The CJEU 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 law.
"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,” said Tyler. 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.
Today’s decision has not changed that reality,” said
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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