The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has once again emphasised the need for a global solution for aviation emissions, implemented through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), instead of the highly controversial European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) that threatens to plunge the industry into a trade war.
“To meet our ambitious targets we will, at least initially, also need globally coordinated, positive, market-based measures. The extra-territorial EU ETS is not a stepping-stone on the way. It’s a polarising obstacle that is preventing real progress,” said Tony Tyler, the director general and chief executive of IATA, during the 68th IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit. Opposition to the scheme has come from all around the world, including America, China and India because of the unilateral nature of the initiative, as well as aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus (see story here). “China is at the forefront of the opposition for the EU ETS. Its carriers are forbidden from participating,” added Tyler.
The silver lining is the fact that ICAO is working on four options for a global market-based system to reduce the aviation industry’s emissions: a global mandatory offsetting scheme, a global mandatory offsetting scheme with additional revenue-raising, a global emissions trading scheme or a global “Baseline and Credit” scheme based on efficiency.
The global agreement on which option to consider could be made at the ICAO 2013 Assembly, however the hyperpolarisation regarding the EU ETS will only slow things down, explains Tyler. “The onus is now on Europe to seize the moment, take a credible action to defuse the situation and get on with finding the global solution that everybody is hoping for.”
The heated debated surrounding the EU ETS was taken up a notch in May when 10 Indian and Chinese carriers were called out for their non-compliance with the ETS obligations (see story here).
For more information about the EU ETS scheme, read our indepth feature here, published in the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific January/February 2012 issue.