Aviation agency asks EU to delay airline carbon tax

March 6, 2012
A plane takes off from Malaga's airport in 2011. The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the European Union to delay rolling out a carbon tax on air travel next year, warning it could provoke trade wars.

The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday urged the European Union to delay rolling out a carbon tax on air travel next year, warning it could provoke trade wars.

"Non-European states see it as a direct attack on their sovereignty," the IATA's director general Tony Tyler told a forum on in Montreal.

"That is easy enough to understand when European states essentially would be pocketing taxes for emissions by non-European carriers over the sovereign territory of non-European states," he explained.

Tyler warned the tax could provoke a trade war.

"No one wants a trade war. It seems to me states are clearly preparing for the possibility... but it is not inevitable," said the head of the UN aviation agency that represents some 240 airlines comprising 84 percent of total .

The European Union imposed the tax with effect from January 1, but no airline will face a bill until 2013 after this year's have been tallied.

The EU has said the will help the 27-nation EU bloc achieve its goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and that it will not back down on the plan.

The EU argues that the cost for airlines is manageable, estimating that the scheme could prompt carriers to add between 4.0 and 24 euros ($32) to the price of a round-trip long-haul flight.

Over two dozen countries, including China, Russia and the United States, have opposed the EU move, saying it violates international law.

Tyler said the EU should embrace a "global approach" to airline emissions and thus allow the ICAO to set a solution. Such "cannot be achieved in Brussels," he said.

The ICAO is scheduled to release at its next general assembly in 18 months market-based proposals to curb aircraft emissions. "What they (the EU) could do is to defer the implementation of their scheme" until then, Tyler told AFP.

Explore further: EU sticks to airline carbon rules despite UN opposition

Related Stories

China says it opposes EU airline emissions charges

December 22, 2011

China Thursday joined Washington in opposing a plan by the European Union to impose carbon emissions charges on all airlines in its airspace from January 1, warning it risked sparking a trade war.

World powers 'plan anti-carbon tax talks'

February 5, 2012

India, Russia, the United States, China and other countries will meet in Moscow this month to decide whether to retaliate against the EU's decision to impose a carbon tax on air travel, a report says.

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

July 28, 2015

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.