UK Lawmakers: Ground US Airlines If They Don’t Comply With ETS

British lawmakers have retaliated against U.S. threats and said U.S airlines should be grounded if planes do not comply with the European Union’s rules on greenhouse gas emissions, according to a parliamentary report issued Thursday.

The report by the U.K.’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee says the U.K. government should play a “key role in ensuring airlines comply with new rules and it recommends that any country or operator that refuses to accept the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme rules should also face increased air passenger tax in the U.K.

Committee Chairman Tim Yeo MP, said international airlines using U.K. and European airports must pay up for the carbon pollution they produce or “risk having their planes grounded.”
source: The Wall Street Journal

He said the aviation sector is one of the fastest growing sources of climate-changing emissions, so the industry must accept responsibility and comply with the rules.

“The U.S. needs to recognise that if it wants to do business in the world’s largest single market it is going to have to get serious about tackling climate change,” Yeo said.

Europe’s efforts to bring the airline industry under the bloc’s carbon market has risked escalating a diplomatic row. Late last year U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote to her European Commission counterpart, Catherine Ashton, strongly urging the EU to halt or suspend its plans, or the U.S. “will be compelled to take appropriate action.”

That appeared to fall on deaf ears and Europe’s top court later backed carbon plans, despite legal efforts by AMR Corp’s (AMR) American Airlines, United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL) AND Airlines For America.

U.S. airlines have said that they are complying but under protest.

Airlines for America said: “We strongly support the U.S. government and dozens of others around the world which are increasing pressure on the EU to come back to the table to consider a global sectoral approach framework provisionally agreed to in 2010.”