Arab airlines denounce new EU emissions plan

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Arab carriers have voiced objection to the European Commission proposal for a revised emissions-trading scheme to bridge the gap to a global agreement.

Opening the Arab Air Carriers Organization conference in Doha, secretary general Abdul Wahab Teffaha said the group was "truly surprised" by the proposal to apply a new scheme next year covering sectors flown inside European airspace.

Teffaha says it "strays away" from the move towards a global agreement reached at the recent ICAO Assembly.

"This proposal awakens the spectre of a trade war," he says, adding that it "does not contribute" to the "positive" atmosphere created by the ICAO commitment.

Teffaha also claims the European measure could obstruct a global deal if, as one of the key stakeholders, the Commission pursues unilateral action.

"[This] doesn't encourage [other members] to reach agreement," he says.

IATA director general Tony Tyler echoed Teffaha's comments during the event, stating that the Commission's revised emissions proposal "ignored" the consensus reached at the ICAO Assembly and was "greeted with disbelief".