• EU says Icao assembly resolution won’t stop ETS

    A group of nations led by the USA is still trying to prevent aviation entering the ETS, as became clear at last month’s triennial general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), which was dominated for the first time by environmental concerns.

    In simple terms, the EU failed in its attempts to get the rest of the world to support aviation entering the ETS, but in an unusual diplomatic move, EU member states supported by a further 15 European countries, made an official ‘reservation’ against an Icao resolution on market-based measures that would have effectively disabled the emissions trading plan.

    The resolution – strongly supported by the USA, with support from Canada, Australia and Japan – sought to introduce a ‘mutual agreement’ clause saying any Icao member would have to sign a separate agreement with all countries operating in its airspace before applying emissions trading. The resolution was passed, but the EU says it does not have legal implications for the EU plans, and aviation’s entry into the ETS will go ahead.

    ‘We are disappointed by the outcome,’ said the head of Portugal’s aviation authority Luis Fonseca de Almeida, ‘and believe Icao has abdicated the leadership role given to it in the Kyoto Protocol. That is a very great failing that should concern us all.’

    T&E’s policy officer João Vieira added: ‘After a decade of failure, it’s now time for Icao’s environmental responsibility to be consigned to the dustbin of history.’

    America is still threatening to take legal action against the EU, saying aviation in the ETS would contravene the 1944 Chicago Convention that regulates international air traffic. The EU is confident that this is not the case.

    This news story is taken from the October 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.