Thursday, January 26, 2012
The British parliament's Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has recommended that any foreign carriers that refuse to participate in the EU's emissions trading scheme should be grounded. See Mathew Carr, U.K. Lawmakers Threaten to Ground Non-Carbon Compliant Planes, Bloomberg, Jan. 26, 2012 (available here). The Committee's comments appear directed at U.S. carriers as the U.K. is the Member State designated for enforcement and allowance collection for U.S. airlines. This latest rhetoric provides yet another example of the intensity of opinion on both sides of this dispute, and offers some pushback by ETS defenders against recent criticism from the U.S., China, India and Russia. At this point it remains only rhetoric however, as U.S. carriers claim to be complying with the ETS and it is far from clear that the Committee's enthusiasm for a trade war on this issue is shared by the rest of the U.K. government or EU authorities who are presently facing a myriad of other economic concerns. Don't expect actual grounding of U.S. aircraft any time soon.