Members of the US House Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which argues that it is a “violation of international law”. The meeting will hear testimony from representatives from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation and State Departments, along with US pilot and airline association representatives.
The hearing follows the publication of a draft Bill last week which states “The European Union’s extraterritorial action is inconsistent with long-established international law and practice, including the Chicago Convention of 1944 and the Air Transport Agreement between the United States and the European Union and its member states, and directly infringes on the sovereignty of the United States.”
The legislation, if enacted, would forbid US airlines from participating in the ETS. All flights departing from or arriving in the EU will be covered by the scheme from the beginning of 2012, including those of non-European airlines.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA), which represents most major carriers based in Europe, says that the draft Bill shows that more needs to be done in the area of carbon emissions.
AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus said, “The EU ETS has a number of flaws but this proposed Bill from Congress, prohibiting US carriers from complying, is not the answer. If adopted, it will only increase the tensions between the EU and the US as EU member states are bound by the ETS Directive to ensure compliance.”
The AEA believes a global sectoral approach within the International Civil Aviation Organisation is a better solution.
Schulte-Strathaus added: “We now have only five months before EU ETS goes live, yet still a huge amount of uncertainty remains. Legal proceedings have been initiated against the EU ETS, China has retaliated against Airbus, and now we face this proposed US Bill. With the ETS clock ticking very loudly now, we have once again urged the Commission to address the issues being raised by Europe’s major trade partners. Our position is clear: European carriers must not be caught in the political crossfire.”To receive our free weekly round-up of all news stories from our site, click here
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