SINGAPORE: Europe open to negotiation but will not scrap EU ETS

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Europe is open to discussions to find a multilateral solution to the issue of carbon emissions, but will not suspend the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) under pressure, said Siim Kallas, vice-president of the European Commission.

Speaking at the Aviation Leadership Summit on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow, Kallas said that the EU ETS is an attempt to tackle carbon emissions and climate change.

"We're not trying to dominate the world. The EU has asked for years and years, there must be a world solution for carbon emission," said Kallas, in response to criticisms of the scheme.

"We're ready to negotiate within our framework," he said. "We are serious about negotiating and we have people who are active in finding solutions."

The EU ETS, which kicked in on 1 Jan, has garnered much anger from airlines and governments worldwide which opposed the scheme and its unilateral approach.

Last week, China also banned its airlines from complying with the scheme and the USA is processing similar legislations for its carriers.

The European Commission in response, had said the ETS directive allows for the imposition of an operating ban on any airline which consistently breaks the EU law.

In an earlier session on Monday, IATA chief Tony Tyler said that the best solution is perhaps for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to develop and implement a global scheme to tackle the problem of airline emissions and the unhappiness that the EU ETS has caused. He also warned that European carriers may face retaliatory action from countries outside the region.