Aviation Industry Pressure Succeeds: EU to Consider Suspending Airline Emissions Charge

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, EU officials seemed to have bowed to the pressure exerted by China, India and the United States regarding the European Trading System (ETS) which would require airlines that fly to and from Europe to purchase permits for all the carbon they emit en route.  The officials “may recommend the suspension of the continent’s carbon emission fees for airlines to avert a trade war with major economic powers such as China and the United States, allowing time to forge a global agreement on climate charges for the aviation industry” the Associated Press reported.

Although the U.S. Senate is considering legislation banning U.S. airlines from complying with the EU lawChina and India have already taken action to prohibit their airlines from participaiting in the ET – the fact that China has blocked purchases of European aircraft by its carriers seems to have forced the re-evaluation.  It was after meeting with Airbus representatives at the ILA Berlin Air Show that Peter Hintze, a German deputy economy minister stated that he and his counterparts from Spain, France and Britain agreed to push for a “global solution” at the ICAO meeting in September, 2013.  Michael Fallon, Britain’s business minister stated “Airbus today has left us in no doubt that the threat of retaliatory action is a clear and present danger to their order list . . . We are very aware that the clock is now ticking.”

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