EU Climate Boss Calls For Early UN Carbon Plan

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Published: June 29, 2012

The European Union is looking to the ICAO to decide on a global scheme for curbing airline emissions at its November meeting, the bloc’s climate boss said after inconclusive talks in Montreal this week.

Angry opponents of an EU law to make all airlines using EU airports pay for their carbon emissions have called on the ICAO to solve the dispute by coming up with an alternative way to tackle the rise in emissions from aircraft.

The extent of the row, which has stirred threats of a trade war, has increased pressure on ICAO to deliver a solution, but some say the high politics has also made it even more difficult to decide on one.

Talks this week at ICAO in Montreal eliminated only one of four market-based schemes under discussion.

“By narrowing down the market-based options on the table, ICAO is making some progress towards the long-awaited global deal to curb aviation emissions,” Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said on Thursday in a statement.

But she said she was looking to ICAO “to reach conclusions” at its November meeting.

“States supporting global solutions now have a unique opportunity to show how serious they are about it by choosing one of the three market-based measures in the coming months,” she said.

ICAO’s secretary-general said earlier this month he did not expect to have a draft proposal ready until March 2013.

The Commission has repeatedly said the only reason for it to modify its law requiring airlines to buy allowances under its EU Emissions Trading Scheme would be if the ICAO can agree a global plan.

Alternative national measures to deal with airline pollution could also allow for exemptions from the EU law, the Commission has said.

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