Thursday, October 6, 2011

EU Court of Justice says Yes to EU ETS

Neelam Mathews
Oct 6, 2011 

Concerns by non EU countries over the EU ETS may have gone up manifold as the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) did not support the air transport industry’s challenge to Europe’s plan to include international aviation in its emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) from 2012. A final decision is expected later this year.

The ruling says: “the principles of customary international law and international agreements relied on do not give rise to any legal objections, not even in so far as the EU emissions trading scheme extends to sections of flights that take place outside the air space of Member States of the European Union.”

Judge, Juliane Kokott made it clear that the “The inclusion of international aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme is compatible with the provisions and principles of international law invoked.”

 “We are disappointed with the opinion of the Advocate General, but it is only part of a complex set of developments concerning the EU-ETS,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“Even if the EU position prevails in the ECJ case, growing political pressure from non-EU States, as reiterated at the recent ICAO Council meeting, will not go away, and may yet force some form of compromise,” says Andrew Herdman, DG, AAPA to Aerospace Diary. 

“While the Advocate General of the CJEU believes that Europe is within its rights to move forward with this extra-territorial measure, that opinion is not shared in the international community. Many governments are rightly concerned about the infringements on sovereignty and the Chicago Convention that Europe’s plans pose. Last week more than 20 states—including India, China, Japan, the US, and Russia signed a declaration vowing to challenge the plan’s extra-territoriality at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). And India, for example, has very clearly indicated that if Europe proceeds it will retaliate,” said Tyler.

"We support and need positive economic measures as part of our strategy to manage aviation’s emissions. Emissions trading is one possibility. But it must be a global scheme under the leadership of ICAO. The principles for such a scheme were agreed in 2010 and ICAO is committed to delivering a global framework by 2013. Rather than risking a further escalation of tensions amongst states, I encourage Europe to support a successful, global and effective solution through ICAO,” said Tyler.

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