EU expects global aviation deal by November 2013
London, 24 September (Argus) — An international accord to regulate airline emissions may be agreed under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) by November next year, EU chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger told Argus.
The main focus is to try to push forward on the debate in the context of Icao and discussions are progressing well, Runge-Metzger said.
“The [Icao] secretariat is conducting a lot of the detailed, background work and the council will have another round of discussions on this in November. And next year in November, there is going to be a big Icao assembly, so the secretariat is eager to make a decision by then,” he said.
Discussions between the EU and non-EU countries about equivalent measures to curb aviation sector emissions are continuing, according to Runge-Metzger.
“But it is true that we will also continue to have our bilateral meetings with the China civil aviation authority and the different ministries, as well as with our Indian colleagues. So that is an ongoing dialogue,” he said.
Under EU legislation, all non-EU airlines landing and departing in the EU have to cover their emissions under the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) from the start of 2012, a move that triggered widespread opposition from countries such as the US, China, India and Brazil.
But incoming flights from a country outside the EU can be exempted from the EU ETS if that country takes equivalent measures to cut airline emissions. The commission has been in talks with China, among others, about a proposal for its own, alternative scheme.
The EU expressed regret today about a decision over the weekend by the US senate to adopt a bill that will ban US airlines from complying with the EU ETS.
EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard called on US authorities to avoid any escalation in the conflict and focus their efforts instead on reaching a global agreement.
But until a global agreement is in place, the EU will not succumb to calls by the US and other countries to suspend the inclusion of aviation under the EU ETS, Hedegaard said.
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