Monday, October 31, 2011

Dispute Over EU Emissions Scheme to be Considered by ICAO?

The debate over the EU's ability to unilaterally impose its Emissions Trading Scheme on the rest of the international aviation community moves to ICAO this week as twenty-six nations are expected to file a formal protest against the EU measure on Wednesday. See Pilita Clark, Air Carbon Permit Fight Escalates, Financial Times, Oct. 30, 2011 (available here). The issue is expected to be discussed at the November 2 ICAO council meeting in Montreal. Following the Advocate General's opinion from earlier this month, ETS opponents have moved beyond the ECJ in their attempts to block the EU's plans. This shift in focus to ICAO was likely motivated by a lack of confidence that the high court will deviate greatly (if at all) from the Advocate General's opinion, as well as the practical reality that the full ECJ opinion is not expected until after the scheme is scheduled to go into effect. It is worth noting that the Financial Times article contains new cost estimates released last week by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance consultancy that anticipate a less severe economic impact for carriers under the ETS. For more commentary on this latest development, blog readers are invited to look at yesterday's Reuters' article on the same subject in which Institute Senior Fellow Gabriel S. Sanchez was quoted at length. See Barbara Lewis, Airlines Ready for Next Battle Against EU Carbon Law, Reuters, Oct. 30, 2011 (available here).

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