TIACA calls on EU to postpone emissions trading scheme

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The European Union should suspend implementation of its Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation and to instead pursue a global agreement of aviation carbon emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, according to The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).

The association has written to Connie Hedegaard, the EU Climate Action Commissioner, setting out its objections to the legislation, which from 1st January 2012 would require any airline landing or taking off inside the EU to take part in the regional bloc’s emissions trading scheme.

The objections include:

* The scheme is a violation of international law and treaties: By directly regulating conduct outside of EU airspace, the EU ETS encroaches upon the sovereign authority of each State over its own airspace.

* The scheme will impose massive new taxes on aviation. TIACA points to figures produced by the International Air Transport Association which calculates that the cost to airlines of purchasing the necessary carbon allowances will rise from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $3.5 billion in 2020.

* The scheme is unlikely to improve the environment because it will cripple the industry’s ability to continue investing on its own in greener technologies.

* The scheme ignores the global nature of aviation by taking a regional approach.

Oliver Evans, vice chairman of TIACA and chair of the association’s industry affairs committee, said: “A better way forward is to take a global approach. TIACA strongly supports ongoing efforts by the aviation sector to improve carbon efficiencies. Furthermore, TIACA endorses the industry-wide emissions goals articulated by the Air Transport Action Group, including carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50 per cent net reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 relative to 2005. TIACA also supports the “four pillar” approach of IATA for achieving these goals, focused on technological development, operational improvements, infrastructure upgrades, and economic incentives.”

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