EU unyielding on airline carbon despite US pressure

Dec 20, 2011
An airplane prepares to land in Congonhas, Sao Paulo's domestic airport, in 2009. The EU will go ahead with its hotly contested plan to charge airlines for carbon emissions despite US threats of reprisal, should it win the backing of the European Court of Justice, EU sources said Tuesday.

The EU will go ahead with its hotly contested plan to charge airlines for carbon emissions despite US threats of reprisal, should it win the backing of the European Court of Justice, EU sources said Tuesday.

"There's no question of giving up," an EU official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "It's been approved by the European Union."

The European court is to rule Wednesday on an EU decision to include from January 1 all airlines in its System (ETS), which furious US, Canadian and other carriers say violates and aviation pacts.

As the deadline looms, US Secretary of State joined a mounting chorus of opposition with a warning of "appropriate action."

"We strongly urge the EU and its member states ... to reconsider this current course," Clinton said in a letter sent to EU counterpart Catherine Ashton last week, that was obtained by AFP.

"Halt or, at a minimum, delay or suspend application of this directive," she said. "Re-engage with the rest of the world."

"The United States stands ready to engage in such an effort. Absent such willingness on the part of the EU, we will be compelled to take appropriate action."

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, refused comment on the letter ahead of the decision by the Luxembourg-based court.

Explore further: Water crisis threatens thirsty Sao Paulo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Airlines decry EU carbon emissions scheme

Sep 27, 2011

Airlines denounced on Tuesday an EU plan to charge them for carbon emissions, warning it would cost the industry 17.5 billion euros ($23.8 billion) over eight years.

EU court backs bloc in airlines emissions fight

Oct 06, 2011

An EU decision to force foreign airlines to buy carbon permits "is compatible with international law," the advocate general of the European Union Court of Justice said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Dead floppy drive: Kenya recycles global e-waste

2 hours ago

In an industrial area outside Kenya's capital city, workers in hard hats and white masks take shiny new power drills to computer parts. This assembly line is not assembling, though. It is dismantling some ...

New paper calls for more carbon capture and storage research

7 hours ago

Federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must involve increased investment in research and development of carbon capture and storage technologies, according to a new paper published by the University of Wyoming's ...

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

12 hours ago

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
3 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2011
If the EU wants to hamstring their own transportation industry, isn't that their business? Add TSA-style security procedures, and EU travelers will be riding bicycles for the borders.
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 20, 2011
tadchem:

The reason that the US is opposed is because the EU plan would include forcing US based flights landing in the EU to pay the fees. Keep in mind that the majority of flights are cargo, not passenger (UPS, etc.) So, in order to get to Russia or the Middle East, we would be forced to pay fines to support the EU trading scheme or buy carbon offsets on their market. It is the equivelant of placing a trade tarrif on US based air transportation. Trade tarrifs are commonly responded to with an equal and opposite tarrif in return. The message Clinton is sending is basically "Go ahead, try it. See where that gets you". The net result of tarrifs is usually an increase in price for consumers, leading to an overall decrease in consumption, which eventually neutralizes the revenue from the tarrif and hurts commerce in general. It would certainly reduce emissions from air transportation, but not in the way they want.
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 20, 2011
I have a second thought about whether this would decrease emissions. There is the possibility that carriers could re-route flights to avoid the EU fine and thereby increase emissions due to them going out of their way. It's a simple numbers game, and I'm sure that someone smarter than me could figure out the outcome. It's a simple calculation of whether it is cheaper to pay the fine or fly around the EU. Unitended consequences.
omatumr
2 / 5 (4) Dec 21, 2011
Although global temperatures have generally increased since the Last Little Ice Age, CO2-induced global warming has not been observed:

See http://judithcurr...pdate-ii

www.ipa.org.au/pu...c-alarms
rubberman
not rated yet Dec 21, 2011
Economically this will be another nail in the coffin of a dying industry. Generally it is time sensitive freight that is shipped via air, most material that isn't spends most of it's intercontinental trip on a boat. I beleive most trips to Russia are flights over the North Pole, the middle east could go through Africa without too much extra effort. But considering the amount of trade with Europe and passenger flights (no doubt there will be a line added to your statement titled "carbon tax")this could get ugly.