The announcement by the European Commissioner for Climate Action suspending the inclusion of international aviation in the controversial European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) won the approval of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The EU ETS plan that would end up taxing international airlines and passengers met with sharp U.S. opposition.
“Commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s announcement that she has ‘stopped the clock’ on the imposition of the EU ETS on flights to and from non-EU countries represents a significant step in the right direction and creates an opportunity for the international community. The Commission’s pragmatic decision clearly recognizes the progress that has been made towards a global solution for managing aviation’s carbon emissions by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
The details of how the pause in the application of the EU ETS will be administered at a technical level remain to be clarified, and the proposal still needs to go through the co-decision process with the EU States and Parliament. Nonetheless, Commissioner Hedegaard has made it clear that the EU wishes to “create the space” for the ICAO process to succeed.
“The flexibility shown by the European Commission demonstrates that the ICAO process is working, and we look forward to seeing all parties working together to present positive proposals to the ICAO Assembly in September 2013,” said Tyler.