Retaliation is not the solution to the ETS dispute
Airlines must not become a target for retaliatory action, triggered by a battle of sovereignty over European policy. This was the clear message given today by the Association of European Airlines (AEA).
On 21-22 February, a number of non-European countries met in Moscow to co-ordinate their opposition to aviationʼs inclusion in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). This meeting culminated in a joint declaration and a series of suggested retaliatory measures to be used against European industry.
"This situation is totally unacceptable. Airlines must not be taken hostage by politicians or be forced to compete with serious market distortions," said Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, AEA Secretary General. "We urgently need both sides to focus on the core objective - managing global aviation emissions - rather than on winning a battle of sovereignty."
European and non-European countries may have diverging views on the sovereignty implications of the EU ETS, but they broadly agree that a global approach is the best way to manage aviation emissions. They also agree that this solution should be handled by ICAO, the UN specialist body for aviation.
"It is not right to attempt to force the EU to change their law. Nor is it right to impose European standards on the rest of the world," said Mr Schulte-Strathaus. "ICAO is, without a doubt, the way forward. Countries must move away from retaliation and counter-retaliation and instead come up with concrete, short-term actions towards a resolution. Then ICAO can deliver."