ETS row could 'derail' ICAO talks on global emissions solution

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IATA director general Tony Tyler is concerned that different agendas about Europe's Emissions Trading System could prevent governments reaching consensus over global aviation emissions regulation at September's ICAO general assembly in Montreal.

Speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on 24 July, Tyler explained that although the European Parliament last year "stopped the clock" on the implementation of ETS, the clock will start again unless the parliament changes its mind. "And parliament won't change its mind unless something comes out of the Montreal meeting which they consider to be good enough," he said.

"I'm sure something will come out of this assembly. Whether it will be enough to satisfy the European Parliament, I'm less hopeful. And I worry about the risk that the European ETS discussion and argument derails the main point."

Tyler says there is "a good chance" of an outline plan being agreed for a global scheme for managing aviation emissions for implementation from 2020 "if governments approach the assembly with a positive frame of mind".

However, he warns there is "a risk that some governments - European ones - will go to Montreal with the main intention of making sure that whatever comes out can accommodate the ETS. Other governments - large, important ones like the USA, India, China, Brazil, Russia and others - are going to go with the intention to make sure that that can't happen very high on their agenda."

In that scenario, he says, the European ETS could become "a major distraction" from the assembly's main object of agreeing a plan to develop a global scheme for emissions control from 2020.