Escalating conflict over aviation in the ETS

The inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) at the beginning of this year has been met by strong reactions from several countries, including China, the United States, India and Russia. In February they met in Moscow to sign a declaration that lists nine measures, including prohibiting their national airlines from contributing to the ETS and pursuing a lawsuit against the EU within the UN's International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).

“We will not allow any discriminatory retaliation action to happen,” countered Jos Delbeke, European Commission Director General for Climate Action, at a meeting with the European Parliament’s Transport Committee the following week.

The Declaration also emphasises the importance that emissions from aviation are regulated globally, through the ICAO. Since the inception of the Kyoto Protocol the ICAO has been commissioned to establish an international framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, but has so far failed to do so.

Source: Reuters 23 February 2012, European Commission press release 1 March 2012

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