Airlines from around the world have urged the European Union to back down on the international dispute over how to tackle aircraft pollution. At the International Air Transport Association’s Annual General Meeting in Beijing, which has brought together 240 airlines worldwide, a group of countries led by China, India, Russia and the United States maintained their opposition to EU plans to force carriers to join the ETS carbon trading scheme. Anger among airlines runs deep, since the EU is levying a fee based on the amount of carbon emissions calculated for whole flights, not just the portion over Europe.
“Europe seems more committed to implementing its ETS unilaterally than to sincerely negotiating a multilateral agreement,” IATA’s director general Tony Tyler said in his AGM speech. “For Europe's international counterparts it's like being asked to negotiate with a gun to their head.”
He continued: “Sustainability should unite the world with common purpose, not divide it with affronts to sovereignty that risk a trade war, a war that nobody wants and from which no winner can emerge.”
[pictured: Air Greenland Airbus A330-200; courtesy Copenhagen Airport]