Sat, Feb 11, 2012
But Relaxing The Law Would Require Action On The Parts Of Other Governments
A day after China announced that its carriers would be forbidden to pay any charges under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) without Beijing’s permission, the European Union said it could suspend parts of a new law requiring airlines to account for their greenhouse gas emissions ... but only if countries were to make clear progress this year toward establishing a global emissions control system.
In a speech in Brussels Wednesday, Director-General for Climate Action Jos Delbeke said that the EU ETS covers incoming flights to the EU, with the flexibility to potentially exempt these incoming flights on a non-discriminatory basis on the basis of action by other countries, which includes measures in their ICAO Action Plans but which could also take into account the action that they are supporting through ICAO. So, to the extent other countries might wish to see changes in the EU's legislation, they have every interest to engage positively in progressing market-based measures in ICAO. We would much prefer a multilateral discussion on incoming flights.
The New York Times reports that Delbeke said a "conditional suspension" of part of the plan were possible, but only in other nations moved more quickly towards adoption of a global plan the EU deemed effective.
In his speech, Delbeke said "there is a vital need for a predictable, long term global framework for market-based measures for aviation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to avoid the negative impacts of climate change, while enabling the aviation sector to grow. We strongly believe ICAO is a right place to move forward on the framework to find a global solution. I would like to invite all countries to constructively work with us in the process that was recently put in place by the President of ICAO. EU strongly supports ICAO's role and will actively engage in these discussions. This non-discriminatory global action that we are all seeking should deliver significant environmental benefits."
Rotor News reports that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said "China will consider taking necessary steps in accordance with the way things develop to protect the rights of our nationals and our companies." A meeting of 26 countries which strongly oppose the EU ETS is planned for February 21st in Moscow. The fines for non-compliance with the ETS amount to about $130 per ton of Co2 emitted for which there has been no carbon credit purchased.
The EU's executive board said it is working with several nations to settle disputes over the ETS, which is sees as central to its efforts to combat climate change. The Climate Action division says it is confident that the ETS would withstand all challenges.
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