AEA Calls on the Commission to Act in face of Mounting International Pressure on ETS

The Association of European Airlines (AEA), which represents Europes leading network carriers, has met for urgent talks with the European Commission following the introduction of an anti-EU ETS Bill in the US Congress. This draft US legislation, if passed, would forbid US airlines from participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
EU ETS, which will apply to aviation from the beginning of 2012, covers all flights departing from or arriving in the EU. Some non-European countries feel this legislation imposes on their sovereignty and this has triggered an escalating array of legal and political challenges. The US draft legislation is the clearest indication to date of the strength of foreign opposition to EU ETS.

The EU ETS has a number of flaws said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. But this proposed Bill from Congress, prohibiting US carriers from complying, is not the answer. If adopted, it will only increase the tensions between the EU and the US as EU Member states are bound by the ETS Directive to ensure compliance.

AEA has consistently maintained that a far better approach for the EU and the US is to accelerate negotiations towards a global sectoral approach within the International Civil Aviation Organisation. All sides should rather dedicate their energy to solutions to address the underlying environmental imperatives.

On Wednesday 27 July, the House Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on ETS titled The EUs Emissions Trading Scheme: a Violation of International Law. Representatives from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation and State Departments, along with US pilot and airline association representatives, will testify.

We now have only five months before EU ETS goes live, yetstill a huge amount of uncertainty remains. Legal proceedings have been initiated against the EU ETS, China has retaliated against Airbus, and now we face this proposed US Bill, said Mr Schulte-Strathaus. With the ETS clock ticking very loudly now, we have once again urged the Commission to address the issues being raised by Europes major trade partners. Our position is clear: European carriers must not be caught in the political crossfire.

AEA is therefore calling on the Commission to engage with the US authorities and resolve these outstanding issues as a matter of urgency.
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