EU told to hold its ground in ETS court battle with US airlines
Green policy news– by Ann Elise Taylor
5th July 2011
In response to attempts by the US airline industry to prove the illegality of its inclusion in emissions trading scheme (ETS) aviation regulations, five leading EU and US nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are pushing back and asking European politicians to hold their ground.
, the Aviation Environment Federation
(AEF), the European Federation for Transport and Environment
(T&E), the Environmental Defense Fund
(EDF) and Earthjustice
will be supporting the EU ETS
in the European Court of Justice today by providing evidence in favour of the scheme’s plan to fine all airlines
per tonne of CO2 released on flights in and out of Europe.
Today’s case, which was brought to court by the Air Transport Association of America and several leading US airlines, will be investigating the legality of charging non-EU airliners in this manner.
"The European Court of Justice needs to back the inclusion of all flights in the ETS and the EU needs to stand firm against political pressure and industry lobbying that will take us back to square one," Keith Allot, head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, said. "US officials have said that ETS plans to include aviation
emissions are 'the wrong way to pursue the right objective,’ and they would prefer an international agreement instead. But efforts to strike such an agreement have moved with glacial slowness for more than a decade."
According to the AEF, negotiations for an international agreement through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have been stalled for 14 years. Failure to implement ETS could delay emissions reductions
even longer, the release said.
The idea to include aviation in the ETS was originally introduced after a 110 per cent increase in aviation emissions between 1990 and 2008 was revealed. Aviation emissions are now doubling every decade.
The US is currently the world’s biggest emitter of aviation greenhouse gasses.
NGOs involved in the court case emphasise that the US’ accordance with ETS standards could be a major step in greening-up the aviation industry.
"We are disappointed that US airlines have taken this action to challenge what is a pioneering and moderate effort by Europe to reduce carbon pollution from this strategic sector," Pamela Campos, attorney at Environmental Defense Fund, said. "Compliance with the EU system can be a driver for finding solutions. Airlines should be racing to comply with this law and deliver cleaner low carbon travel
to the flying public, instead of racing to the courthouse to try to block a reasonable and well-designed law."
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