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China, Russia denounce EU aviation emissions plan

29 Sep 2011 13:23 (+01:00 GMT)
China, Russia denounce EU aviation emissions plan

London, 29 September (Argus) — China and Russia have decried the EU plan to include airlines in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) as “unilateral and coercive,” while European airline associations also criticised the plan.

Russia's transport ministry and China's Civil Aviation Administration said the plan to include all airlines in the EU ETS as of 2012 violates sovereignty and could prevent international co-operation on climate change.

The countries called on the EU to co-ordinate an alternative plan through the UN body responsible for the sector's environmental impact — the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The US airline industry already has a challenge to the scheme pending in the European Court of Justice, and the International Air Transport Association is calling on the EU to abandon its plans to include airlines in the scheme. An initial opinion on the court case is due on 6 October.

The EU on 26 September outlined the way it plans to distribute free allowances, with carriers set to receive 85pc free in 2012 and 82pc free over 2013-20.

Senior commission officials said the total value of free allowances could be worth around €20bn ($27bn) at current market prices, which, if passed on to customers in the form of higher ticket prices, could provide the industry with important funds to help them cut their emissions. But a group of three European airline associations called that assessment of the scheme “grossly misleading”.

“The commission has got this completely wrong…this will hamper industry investment in new technologies and biofuels,” director-general of the European Regions Airline Association Mike Ambrose said.

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