[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Anger by America’s airlines at being charged for emissions permits is well known, and US airlines have a legal challenge with the European Court of Justice, which will be heard next month, alleging that charging for emissions permits is illegal. But now there is evidence of lobbying for an exemption for China’s airlines, with suggestions that China might retaliate in some form if the ETS charging of aviation goes ahead.
The ETS legislation allows for charges to be partially waived on flights into Europe for airlines from countries that pursue ‘equivalent measures’ to cut carbon emissions on Europe-bound flights. China recently announced some aircraft emissions reduction measures, and Commission officials are analysing whether these measures would qualify to reduce Chinese airlines’ need for permits.
In an editorial published on 6 June, the Financial Times newspaper strongly backed the EU transport commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s efforts to defend aviation entering the ETS. It said ‘Industry protests are a sign she is on the right track’, and added: ‘Hedegaard is right to warn against cowering to threats of discriminatory retaliation for a non-discriminatory policy. Europe has chosen, maybe to its disadvantage, to lead on climate policy. Others should not undo its choice for it.’