EU climate chief revives airline carbon tax proposal

Oct 16, 2013
The EU's top climate-change official says Brussels is within its rights to tax airlines for emissions in its airspace

The EU's top climate-change official said Wednesday that Brussels was within its rights to tax airlines for emissions in its airspace, reviving a controversial proposal that drew a storm of criticism.

European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said all using the of the European Economic Area could be subject to a tax for their air-polluting carbon .

The idea is essentially the same as the ill-fated CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that the EU suspended last year after a flurry of protest from emerging countries, airlines and aircraft builders.

"The EU has the sovereign right to regulate aviation in its own airspace," Hedegaard said.

The proposal, which would first have to receive the backing of the EU's 28 member states and the European Parliament, risks reigniting the standoff between the EU and countries such as China, India and Russia that do not want the tax imposed on their airlines.

The EU has been looking for a compromise solution on airline emissions since being pressured into scrapping an initial proposal to tax airlines for the full flight path of any plane departing from or arriving in Europe.

Hedegaard's new comments came after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed earlier this month in Montreal to regulate the industry's greenhouse gas emissions but gave itself until 2020 to work out the details.

Asked if her proposal risked raising an outcry after the Montreal deal, Hedegaard replied: "Every country that respects the rule of law will recognise that we have the right to take the measures we want in our airspace."

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

EU urges global deal on airline pollution

Sep 24, 2013

The EU on Tuesday urged nations to accept a compromise on plans to curb airline carbon emissions at a key UN conference, though resistance to striking an overall deal remains fierce.

Airline industry calls for CO2 emissions plan

Sep 24, 2013

The airline industry's mouthpiece called Monday for uniform global measures by 2020 to curb all aircraft carbon emissions, warning that a patchwork of competing proposals could emerge otherwise.

EU ready to suspend CO2 air travel tax for a year

Nov 12, 2012

The European Union executive on Monday offered to "stop the clock" on its controversial carbon tax on air travel by suspending the measure for a year on flights to and from non-European nations.

EU puts airline carbon tax on hold for a year

Mar 21, 2013

The EU will put its controversial carbon tax on intercontinental airline flights on hold for a year to give time for international talks to reach a compromise on the issue, a European source said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

18 hours ago

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

19 hours ago

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

19 hours ago

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

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.