Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2012 Contents AsianAviation | APRIL 2012 15
Action Jos Delbeke told the European Parliament s
Delbeke said that the EC "continues to favour
a global solution" but stipulated that it should
be non-discriminatory, reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by more than the EU scheme would and
includes clear targets and measurements.
The European Union does not have a seat at
ICAO, but has been authorised to negotiate on
behalf of the member states under a "memorandum
of cooperation", although the UK has "abstained"
from this on sovereignty grounds.
An ad-hoc working group set up by ICAO
has narrowed down the possible "market-based
measures" for a global scheme to four options,
together with a set of evaluation criteria by which
the recommended options could be further
evaluated. The EU has made clear that if ICAO
comes up with its own scheme, it would be willing
to scrap the European ETS. Airlines would not
have to actually start paying for the European ETS
until March next year - which may partly explain
the March timing of the proposed ICAO special
In the meantime, there is also another potential
compromise on the table. The EU will not apply its
ETS to non-EU airlines from countries that apply
their own ETS schemes - the so called "equivalent
European Parliament member Dr. Peter Lieser,
who played a key role in developing the ETS scheme,
makes clear that there is room for compromise. He
told Asian Aviation, "Our legislation includes two
ways for compromises. First there are of course
the equivalent measures and my position is that
we shouldn´t be dogmatic. Even if third countries
measures are not the same and do not deliver 100%
the same environmental effect we should be ready
to accept them and exempt incoming flights."
Some European member states, notably Italy,
have expressed worries that their airlines may be
disadvantaged as the non-EU schemes may be
significantly less demanding than the EU scheme.
However, Lieser seems to suggest that this wouldn t
be a deal breaker.
Lieser adds, "The second question is if we can
achieve a global solution under ICAO as soon as
possible. I fully agree with [EC commissioner for
climate action] Connie Hedegaard: When we have
a global solution our European scheme will be no
more necessary. If all partners are willing to agree
we can achieve something quite soon."
China is actually looking into setting up its
own ETS scheme, which would offer a potential
solution along the "equivalent measures" approach.
"We look with very much interest on the Chinese
discussion on ETS. It would definitely make a
solution much easier," notes Lieser.
He says, "I very much hope that ICAO comes
with a solution and it would be good to have clarity
already before March 2013 when first payments
from airlines are necessary under the EU-ETS."
He adds, however, "Unfortunately the position of
the countries that signed the Moscow Declaration
and oppose the EU-ETS are in no way united on
how a solution should look like. For example,
the question of common but differentiated
responsibility is more than disputed between the
US and China."
Lieser dismisses the threat that China will not
buy Airbus aircraft. "I am confident that Chinese
airlines do not only buy Airbus because they want
to do a favour to Europe but because they think
the aircraft has the best cost benefit ratio for their
purpose. If they cancel the contract they do not
only hit the EU but they harm themselves."
He adds, "The effect of the EU-ETS is very
moderate especially for Asian airlines because
they have a relatively new and efficient flight
fleet. The average burden for a flight from
Europe to Shanghai is less than €2. Compared
to this the nationals taxes and fees in the
United States ($16,30 / 12,40€ per passenger),
India (more than 500 INR / 7,40€), the UK
(depending on the distance from £26 / $41,20
to £184 / $291,80 ) and Germany (depending on
destination from 7,50€ / $9,90 to 42€ / $55,40)
are much higher."
Others in the European Parliament take a
different view. UK Conser vative MEP Jacqueline
Foster, who has often been a voice for the aviation
industry, criticised the scheme as an illegal -
and fruitless - attempt to impose taxes on third
countries which would end up reducing the
competitiveness of EU airlines.
However, many MEPs and other in Europe fear a
loss of credibility if the EU doesn t stand its ground.
Lieser says, "We have adopted this legislation with
unanimous vote in the Council and with more
than 90% of the votes in the Parliament. If in such
a situation we give in just because of the economic
pressure from China it would have very negative
The EC "continues to favour a global solution" but stipulates
that it should be non-discriminatory, reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by more than the EU scheme would and includes clear
targets and measurements
UK Conservative MEP Jacqueline Foster, who has often been a
voice for the aviation industry, criticised the scheme as an illegal
- and fruitless - attempt to impose taxes on third countries which
would end up reducing the competitiveness of EU airlines.
Dr. Peter Lieser MEP
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