The US congress has passed a bill to prohibit US aircraft from participating in the European Union's emissions trading scheme (ETS), a move applauded by the General Aviation Manufacturers' Association (GAMA).
The EU ETS would impose charges non-European aircraft traveling to and from, as well as within, Europe. According to bill S.1956, this action was "inconsistent with long-established international law and practice"; that it "directly infringes the sovereignty of the United States", and that there was no evidence that ETS revenues would be used to reduce aviation carbon emissions.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce testified before the Senate Committee assessing the impact of the ETS, stating "While there are many objections that can be leveled against the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, the most damning is that it takes resources away from the aviation industry that could best be invested by the industry into research or technologies that improve aircraft efficiency.
"Congress has shown leadership by going on the record that ETS is the wrong way to address greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. Passage of S. 1956 provides the Administration the political support and tools necessary to push the EU to end its unilateral and misguided approach while simultaneously urging the EU to negotiate at ICAO, the proper forum for developing international aviation policy."
The bill goes on to state that the EU initiative undermines ongoing efforts at the ICAO and generates "unnecessary friction" within the international aviation community.
Further support for the US bill has come from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which released a statement saying "IATA also welcomes the passage of a Bill in the United States Senate to prohibit US carriers from participating in the EU ETS. Significantly, the Bill passed with unanimous bi-partisan support and makes specific provision for officials to use their authority to conduct international negotiations to pursue a worldwide approach to address aircraft emissions.
"The global aviation community is encouraged to see that in spite of the EU?s insistence on defending its divisive scheme, governments outside Europe recognize the tremendous socio-economic benefits from aviation and are making determined efforts to find common ground to deliver a global solution through ICAO that is acceptable to all."