IATA and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) have expressed concern over Europe's plans to reimpose the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) on all flights over the European Economic Area.
IATA director general Tony Tyler says he is surprised by the European Commission's proposal, given what has been achieved at the recent ICAO assembly, where it was agreed that ICAO will develop a global market-based measure to tackle global aviation emissions. The technical details of the scheme will be worked out by 2016 and come into effect in 2020.
“We are concerned that the Commission is now recommending a course of action that has the potential to undermine the goodwill that has brought us to this point. As the Commission’s proposal moves to the co-decision process with the European parliament and council, we trust that there will be wide stakeholder engagement, including with the international community,” he adds.
AAPA director general Andrew Herdman says the inclusion of international airlines without the consent of their respective governments is likely to meet with strong opposition, and stressed that efforts should be focused on the development of a global market-based framework.
Under Europe's proposal, from 1 January 2014, airlines will have to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions for the duration of flights over the European Economic Area. European carriers will continue to be covered by the ETS for the full duration of their flights.
Speaking to reporters in Singapore on 16 October, Tyler said that discussions at the ICAO assembly clearly indicated that states around the world want a global scheme and not a regional one. He adds that Europe can take credit for "having forced this up the international agenda", and that it would make sense for it to not adopt the ETS given the decision reached at the assembly.
“The worse possible outcome for us is the failure of states to implement a global scheme and as a result, we see a proliferation of regional schemes which will no doubt, [create] some overlap, some conflict, all would have onerous monitoring, reporting and verification requirements attached. That’s our worst nightmare,” says Tyler.
He adds that IATA will "work hard" with ICAO to set up a global scheme - one that is efficient to administer, simple to understand and fair to all players - to be adopted by 2020.
“It is of critical importance to ensure that everybody – including Europe – stays focused on the big picture of carbon neutral growth [by] 2020,” says Tyler.