U.S. Airlines Praises Obama for Signing Bill Rejecting EU Emissions Scheme

the trade organization representing the top U.S. airlines, praised President Obama for signing S. 1956, a bipartisan bill that allows the U.S. Transportation Secretary to direct U.S. airlines not to participate in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

“With the President’s signature today, the United States has sent an unequivocal signal to the EU and the world that while the illegal and unilaterally-imposed EU ETS is the wrong way to proceed, there is a steadfast commitment to the right way – a global sectoral approach at the international level,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas Calio. “Working within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United States will continue to lead the effort to secure a policy that will meet the twin goals of allowing for industry growth and continuing improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”

The EU had proposed stringent emissions standards that most airlines outside of Europe said they could not meet, presenting the prospect that those airlines would not be allowed in European airspace unless they paid a penalty. Earlier this month, however, the EU itself announced that it would suspend enforcement of the ETS.

A4A said that while the airline industry and its customers should view this with cautious optimism, the suspension is only temporary, and action from the U.S. government is still needed. Calio also said that, to the extent the EU ultimately withdraws its unilateral scheme on international aviation, there is hope that a legal challenge under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention would not be necessary.

A4A said U.S.-based carriers have a strong record of fuel efficiency improvements and emissions reductions and are employing operational measures and making critical investments in alternative fuel research and fuel-efficient aircraft to continue that trend. In 2011, the U.S. airlines moved passengers and cargo more than twice as far on a single gallon of fuel than they did in 1978, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions by roughly the equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road in each of the intervening years.

Separately, the U.S. Travel Association also praised President Obama for signing into law a bill exempting U.S. airlines from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The European Union Emission Trading Scheme Prohibition Act (S. 1956) protects U.S. air carriers and passengers from the potential for an un

“The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme will only inhibit business and leisure travel and lead to serious economic consequences as the global economy struggles to recover,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The U.S. travel industry applauds the bipartisanship shown in support of this important travel legislation.”
Travel Puls, November 27, 2012