Quantcast
Connect with us

E.U. wins key round in carbon fight with airlines

Published

on

The European Union on Thursday won a key legal round against US airlines fighting EU plans to force foreign carriers to buy carbon permits to fly to and out of the 27-nation bloc.

An EU system that will require airlines to pay for their CO2 emissions from January 1 “is compatible with international law,” the advocate general of the EU Court of Justice, Juliane Kokott, wrote in a legal opinion.

ADVERTISEMENT

The opinion is a blow to US airlines, which argued that the rules violated international climate change and aviation agreements. Although the adviser’s opinions are non-binding, the court follows them in 80 percent of cases.

The case could also affect Chinese and Indian airlines, which have said they would launch a similar case before the end of the year.

“The inclusion of international aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme is compatible with the provisions and principles of international law invoked,” Kokott wrote.

The United States criticised the opinion and said it, and “several other” states, would press the EU to exclude foreign airlines from the Emissions Trading System and agree a solution through the UN’s aviation organisation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We maintain our strong legal and policy objections to the inclusion of flights by non-EU carriers in the EU-ETS, and do not see the European Court of Justice process as resolving these objections,” said Krishna Urs, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for transportation affairs.

The airline industry has fought hard to be excluded from the ETS, which is used to charge other industries such as oil refineries, power stations and steel works for CO2 emissions as part of Europe’s efforts against climate change.

The EU wants airlines, which contribute 3.0 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce their carbon footprint.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are disappointed with the opinion of the advocate general, but it is only part of a complex set of developments concerning” the trading system, said Tony Tyler, head of industry group the International Air Transport Association.

Tyler said that “many governments are rightly concerned about the infringements on sovereignty” that the trading system implies and warned that 20 states had signed a declaration “vowing to challenge the plan’s extra-territoriality” at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“India, for example, has very clearly indicated that if Europe proceeds it will retaliate,” Tyler said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last month, the China Air Transport Association warned that dozens of airlines would be involved in another lawsuit it aimed to lodge by the end of the year.

At the Paris air show in June, China reportedly blocked an order by Hong Kong Airlines for billions of euros worth of European Airbus aircraft due to the EU carbon tax plan.

China has said it fears its aviation sector will have to pay an additional 800 million yuan ($125 million) a year on flights originating or landing in Europe, and that the cost could be almost four times higher by 2020.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under the scheme, airlines will be given emissions allowances based on their size and polluting record.

Initially they will only have to pay for 15 percent of the polluting rights accorded to them, the figure rising to 18 percent between 2013-2020.

If credits are not fully used, they can be traded — which means polluters can buy extra rights, which carriers see as a tax.

ADVERTISEMENT

EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard says the 85 percent of allowances not initially charged amount to 20 billion euros over the next decade, which can be used to modernise fleets and improve fuel efficiency.

“I am glad to see that the Advocate General’s opinion concludes that the EU Directive is fully compatible with international law,” Hedegaard said.

“The EU reaffirms its wish to engage constructively with third countries during the implementation of this legislation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Photo: Flickr user jtsarkis.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Still-free Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell likely cooperating with prosecutors: Vanity Fair columnist

Published

on

High-powered wealth manager Jeffrey Epstein may have committed suicide — but the case looking into his alleged involvement in trafficking and raping teenage girls is far from over. One particular loose end is Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who was close friends with Epstein — and who is accused of helping to groom Epstein's victims, and who has seemingly disappeared.

As Vanity Fair contributor William Cohen told MSNBC's Alex Witt, Maxwell is likely not really on the lam at all — she may be helping prosecutors in secret, to lull Epstein's other co-conspirators into a false sense of security.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

Published

on

In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

Published

on

With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image