Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pressure From EU Countries Could Complicate ETS Compromise

Lost in the attention given to the many nations opposing the EU's plan is discussion of how the ETS will affect carriers within the EU. Readers may be interested in an article from today's Wall Street Journal that reports that while many EU states and carriers support the plan, they are wary of any concessions or compromises to non-EU states that would leave EU carriers at a competitive disadvantage. See, Allessandro Torello, Emissions Plan Sparks Concerns, Wall St. J., Oct. 13, 2011 (available here). The legislation creating the ETS allows the EU to exempt carriers from non-EU states that have enacted similar measures to limit aviation emissions. This should be a signal to any observers expecting the EU to concede to foreign pressure that such a concession, if it comes, is unlikely to take the form of waivers to foreign airlines on the basis of vague promises or half-measures to address the emissions issue. EU members concerned about the possibility of foreign carriers operating under less burdensome regulatory schemes will want assurances that alternate plans are indeed comparable. How all of this plays out at the November 2 ICAO meeting is anyone's guess.

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