The inclusion of aviation in the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) may be in danger, as US-based airlines try to scupper the system. In mid-December 2009, American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines - backed by the US Air Transport Association (ATA) - initiated an action before British courts disputing the lawfulness of including non-European airlines in the ETS. A question could be referred to the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

In concrete terms, from 1 January 2012, all flights departing from or landing in the EU will be covered by the ETS. Directive 2008/101/EC organises the system. The basic principle is that airlines will be obliged not to exceed a given level of CO2 emissions, which will correspond to an initial quantity of quotas that will be distributed for free. If they have to emit more CO2, they will have to buy allowances on the market. Since 1 January 2010, airlines are obliged to provide precise data on their traffic and CO2 emissions.

Non-EU airlines are concerned in the same way as those based in the EU. They, too, have been assigned a responsible' member state, which will calculate the number of quotas. For the three American airlines, the United Kingdom was named the responsible' state - under the directive, the member state responsible for a non-European airline is the state where traffic from the airline is...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT