US Carriers To Sue EU

THE US Air Transport Association (ATA) − which represents US air carriers – and three US airlines are to sue the European Union (EU) over its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).
The ATA, along with American, Continental and United Airlines, has launched a court action in London after stating that the ETS: “violated the US-EU bilateral Air Transport Agreement of 2007 and the Kyoto Protocol.”  The ATA, says it is necessary:“”in order to preserve our members’ rights to challenge implementation of the EU ETS as applied to aviation.”
The ETS has attracted criticism from some carriers because it requires every airline which operates within the EU boundaries to submit emissions reports.
The scheme allows airlines which go above their EU-imposed limit to buy ‘carbon emissions’ from any others that are below their quota.  Carriers who fail to comply with the scheme risk penalties that include being banned from flying within the EU.
Both IATA and ICAO have both expressed concern about the scheme, and IATA told its airline members that they should submit their emissions reports: “under protest” and after taking legal advice.  IATA said it was concerned the scheme should apply to carriers without their consent.
The ATA says that although three airlines were specifically named in the forthcoming legal action, it believes: “the principles involved” that those aviation emissions should be regulated on a global sectoral basis and that unilateral action by any country or group of countries violates international law “are of critical importance to all of ATA’s members.”
The carriers believe that the ETS may add to ticket prices and the ATA says it has started with the court action in London because the UK will be the first EU country to launch the ETS in 2012.
It added: “ATA continues to believe that the best resolution of this issue is through international negotiations or an action brought through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”