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Media Berichten over de Vliegbelasting

Industry welcomes ETS developments, but EU airlines subdued

ATW Daily News by Anne Paylor 12 Nov. 2012

For the most part, the air transport industry has reacted positively to the news that the European Commission (EC) has agreed to suspend application of its controversial Emissions Trading System (ETS) to flights operating to and from Europe until after the ICAO Assembly next fall (ATW Daily News, Nov. 12).

Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier said: “Last week’s ICAO Council brings the aviation industry one step closer to a coordinated, globally acceptable approach to better manage civil aviation emissions. The positive cooperation between ICAO and the European Commission provides the international community with a real chance to make progress on a worldwide agreement on aviation CO2 emissions.”

The response from Europe’s airlines has been more subdued because intra-EU flights are still included in the ETS. The moratorium is nevertheless acknowledged as a means of breaking the deadlock on global aviation emissions and averting a potential trade war over the issue. The US, China and India have spearheaded international opposition to the scheme and have threatened retaliatory action (ATW Daily News, Feb. 23).

The Assn. of European Airlines (AEA) said the EC’s decision “firmly placed the task of finding an effective mechanism to manage airlines’ CO2 emissions in the hands of ICAO—which is where, AEA has consistently argued, it should have been all along.”

AEA acting Secretary General Athar Husain Khan said: “As international tensions over the issue have escalated, European airlines have been facing the very real prospect of discrimination and retaliation in our most important global markets. Indeed, some AEA members have already encountered operational obstacles with regard to certain countries.”

However, AEA said the continued inclusion of intra-EU flights in the ETS was “clearly an unsatisfactory situation in anything but the shortest term.” Khan said that “since these are such a tiny proportion of worldwide CO2, it shows the inability of a purely regional scheme to have a meaningful impact on what is a global issue.”

A lone voice of dissent, the European Low Fares Airline Assn. (ELFAA) said it “strongly condemns” the EC's decision.

ELFAA Secretary General John Hanlon said: “To continue to require compliance in respect of intra-EU flights only is to not only impugn the environmental credentials of EU ETS but to impose a highly unfair and discriminatory burden on EU citizens flying within Europe.”

ELFAA has been a staunch supporter of the EU ETS as an appropriate market mechanism, conditional on its environmental effectiveness. It argues that 80% of EU aviation emissions result from long-haul flights and only 20% from intra-EU, so “the proposed reduction in scope would clearly forfeit EU ETS any valid claim to environmental effectiveness.”

ELFAA said the European Parliament should not “countenance such a discriminatory and highly distortive retreat by the Commission in response to political pressure” and insist that any moratorium be extended to all flights within the scope of EU ETS.”

Ryanair similarly urged complete removal of aviation from the ETS and not just foreign carriers that “refused to pay for the misplaced environmental guilt of EU tree-huggers.” It said the continuation of the eco tax “will damage traffic, tourism, European competiveness and jobs at a time when no other economic block is including aviation in their ETS schemes” (ATW Daily News, Jan. 13).

bron: www.atwonline.com

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