Overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate have expressed opposition to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS ) and earned support from Airlines for America (A4A). A4A said the EU ETS was illegal and violates U.S. sovereignty.
A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said, “There is a better way to improve the environmental efficiency of the airline industry, and U.S.-based carriers are already leading those efforts.”
Calio said A4A strongly supports efforts to gain full agreement on the global framework provisionally adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2010.
U.S. airlines were among the global aviation leaders in developing this framework, A4A said, which includes an industry commitment to a 1.5 percent annual average fuel-efficiency improvement through 2020 and carbon neutral growth from 2020 onward, subject to critical investments by industry and governments.
U.S. carriers, Calio said, "have made significant investments in alternative fuel research and in fuel-efficient aircraft and operations. U.S. airlines improved their fuel efficiency by 120 percent over the past three decades, resulting in emissions savings equivalent to taking more 22 million cars off the road in each of those years. U.S. airlines have also increased traffic while using less fuel."
A4A commended the House of Representatives for approving the Senate-passed bill, S. 1956, a measure that allows the Transportation Secretary to direct U.S. airlines not to participate in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Senate 1956 was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate and by voice vote in the House, A4A said, underscoring that Congress recognizes that the EU ETS violates international law and U.S. sovereignty. A4A said it is "counterproductive to U.S. airlines’ ongoing efforts to invest in the technology, operations and infrastructure measures that enhance fuel efficiency and reduce emissions."
A4A noted that the EU announced it would suspend enforcement of the ETS while efforts to reach an internationally agreed approach to reduce emissions continue through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). "While A4A is cautiously optimistic about that action, it does not remove the threat of the EU ETS being implemented at a later date," A4A said.
ASTA has also congratulated the House on the legislation.