The battle against the European Union’s plans to charge the airlines for their carbon pollution is poised to escalate this week as the US, China and two dozen other countries take their case to the international body that sets global air standards. The 26 countries, including Russia, India and Japan, will tell the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that the EU measure “violates the cardinal principle of state sovereignty” enshrined by international air agreements since the second world war”. Their action paves the way for a rare formal dispute to be launched through the Montreal-based ICAO.
The EU’s inclusion of aviation in its six year-old Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from January will curb the sustainable growth of international aviation, the 26 countries claim. The accusation was included a paper prepared for a meeting of ICAO’s governing council that starts today, as reported by the Financial Times. That could also prompt other countries to introduce “competing schemes”, the countries say, “bringing about a chaotic situation adversely affecting the sustainability of air transport”, it adds. While ICAO cannot force the EU to ditch its plans, it can be used in order to apply further pressure to Brussels.
The US House of Reprentatives recently passed a bill that would prohibit American carriers from participating in the ETS scheme.