Friday, February 24, 2012

Joint Declaration Urge EU to Work Constructively on a Multilateral Approach to Address International Civil Aviation Emissions

Posted by- Neelam Mathews
Feb 24, 2012

Representatives of Non –EU Members of International Civil Aviation Organisation Meet in Moscow -STATEMENT

The representatives from Armenia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Chili, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda and United States of America of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) met in Moscow on February 21 and 22, 2012 and reaffirmed the importance of the role of the ICAO in addressing international civil aviation emissions, including pursuant to the request from the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The countries gathered in Moscow reiterated the importance of Kyoto Protocol to its Parties as well as importance of Chicago Convention and the need to ensure full compliance with its provisions.

Ch. Ajit Singh, the Minister of Civil Aviation met with Ms. Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Policy of EU earlier in February, in which the Minister reiterated that the European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) violates the principles of the Chicago Convention and is also against the bilateral Air Services Agreement between India and EU Member States. Later during the meeting of the President, European Union with the Prime Minister of India in Delhi, Ch. Ajit Singh, Civil Aviation Minister reiterated the stand of India regarding EU-ETS scheme. The Minister mentioned that the EU-ETS scheme infringes upon the sovereignty of states outside the European Union and violets the principles of the common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) under the UNFCCC wherein developing countries are not subjected to an emissions cap.

He also apprised the EU President that the de-minimus provision under the scheme is notional. Accepting EU-ETS in the civil aviation sector means starting of a trend for similar action in other sectors, which would have greater implications for Indian Economy. The Minister also confirmed that India would not be in a position to alter its stand and that EU must consider to withdraw the Scheme.

            The member stressed that the unilateral inclusion of international civil aviation in the EU-ETS has constituted an obstacle to the progress of ICAO’s work underway to address international civil aviation emission.

             Underlining the lack of an adequate response from EU to the ICAO Council’s Decision C-DEC 194/2 including the lack of a constructive dialogue to address the concerns of the non-EU States expressed in that decision and elsewhere and considering that the inclusion of international civil aviation in the EU-ETS leads to serious market distortions and unfair competition, the meet decided to adopt joint declaration as a clear manifestation of their unanimous position that the EU and its Member States must cease application of the Directive 2008/101/EC to airlines/aircraft operators registered in third States.

            The Moscow Joint Declaration urged the Member States to consider taking actions/measures such as:-

1.      Filing an application under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention for resolution of the dispute according to the ICAO Rules for the Settlement of Differences (Doc 7782/2);

2.      Using existing or new State legislation, regulations or other legal mechanism to prohibit airlines/aircraft operators of the State from participating in the EU-ETC;

3.      Holding meetings with the EU carriers and/or aviation-related enterprises in their respective States and apprise them about the concerns arising out of the EU-ETS and the possibility of reciprocal measures that could be adopted by the State, which may adversely affect those airlines and/or entities.

4.      Mandating EU carriers to submit flight details and other data;

5.      Assessing whether the EU-ETS is consistent with the WTO Agreements and taking appropriate action;

6.      Reviewing Bilateral Air Service Agreement, including Open Skies with individual EU Member States, and reconsidering the implementation or negotiation of the ‘Horizontal Agreement’ with the EU;

7.      Suspending current and future discussions and/or negotiations to enhance operating rights for EU airlines/aircraft operators;

8.      Imposing additional levies/charges on EU carriers/aircraft operators as a form of countermeasure;

9.      Any other actions/measures.

            Members also strongly urged EU to work constructively forthwith in ICAO on a multilateral approach to address international civil aviation emissions. Member countries stressed the need to exchange information on the measures adopted and to be adopted, particularly to ensure better coordination, by each non-EU Member State after this meeting in future. The members decided to continue their intensified common efforts to make progress at ICAO to address international civil aviation emissions and they requested the Russian Federation to communicate this Joint Declaration to the EU and its Member States on their behalf and invite any other State to associate itself with this Joint Declaration and, in this connection request the Russian Federation to extend invitation.

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