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*Comment Rejoinder To Nosa Osula-Aituamen’s Article of October 28, 2011.
By Jeff Gazzard
A rather lurid and inaccurate headline to the , I'm afraid! Let’s be frank – ALL the world’s airlines HAVE already registered (a handful “under protest” admittedly) for free allowances within the scope of the EU ETS aviation regulations; they have also invested in all the necessary monitoring and verification software to participate; and most are already operating in the carbon market through both in-house and external systems, advisors and traders.
One or two airlines have already been fined by EU member state’s regulators for missing deadlines in the run-up to the ETS January 2012 start date, so perhaps now is a good time to remind airlines of the heavyweight, some might say draconian, financial penalties for any future non-compliance which could potentially bankrupt even the world’s largest airlines.
We know that airlines are very aware of these penalties and many of them have said publicly that they do not intend to break any ETS-related laws at several meetings and events I have attended, although they oppose the scheme.
There is a substantial degree of desperate last-minute posturing and grandstanding to try and avoid practical and fair market-based environment protection solutions from countries who should know better – the recent presentation to ICAO in Montreal from the EC’s Artur Runge-Metzger, International and Climate Strategy Director, easily found on the web, is a welcome and very clear explanation of where we are right now and why the EU ETS is a fair and equitable policy.
Using this scheme as the global model is the way forward. Countries trying to avoid the fairly “light touch” ETS regulation in this latest bit of institutionalised moaning, are misguided and out-of-touch with the reality of the urgent need for action to control and reduce the climate change impacts of civil aviation.
Which is all the more difficult to understand when many are in the frontline of the fight against climate change right now.
The EU is not going to capitulate and has the support of environment NGO’s everywhere – covering around a third of aviation’s global CO2 emissions is a stunning achievement and needs support and expansion, not arrogant whingeing from the industry’s flat earthers. If you can afford the price of a ticket, you can afford the cost of carbon.
Aviation Environment Federation
Nosa Osula-Aituamen’s article prompting Jeff Gazzard’s rejoinder above is republished below.
EU Air Tax On The Verge of Collapse
By Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)
The House of Representatives has voted against U.S. participation in the European Union’s (EU) costly emissions trading scheme (ETS), which would impost new emissions taxes on U.S. and other nations’ carriers flying to and from the EU.
The bipartisan legislation, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2594), was introduced by John L. Mica (R-Fla.), transportation and infrastructure committee chairman along with democratic committee members.
“This appropriately named EU scheme is an arbitrary and unjust violation of international law that disadvantages U.S. air carriers, threatens U.S. aviation jobs, and could close down direct travel from many central and western U.S. airport to Europe,” said Mica, who says neither Congress nor the government will support the EU tax scheme.
If imposed on January 1, 2012, the EU aviation tax scheme would apply to U.S. and other nations’ flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, according to the committee.
Airlines would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU Member State to which they most frequently fly, without any requirements that EU countries even use these fees in aviation emissions reduction efforts.
H.R. 2594 prohibits U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the ETS. The bill also instructs U.S. officials to negotiate or take any action necessary to ensure U.S. aviation operators are not penalized by any unilaterally imposed EU scheme.
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