IATA Criticises EU

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the European Union (EU) to abandon its “misguided” plans to include aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), due to commence in 2012. It also reiterated the air transport industry’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions at the Greener Skies conference in Hong Kong. IATA invited governments to join the industry in a “global approach” to reduce aviation’s environment impact.

Speaking at the conference, IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said: “The industry’s chain value is united around ambitious targets and a clear strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. To achieve the positive economic measures, technology improvements, more efficient infrastructure and better operations necessary to meet our targets, governments need to be much more proactive stakeholders and real partners.”

The air transport industry has committed to improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, capping net carbon emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth and cutting net emissions in half by 2050, compared to 2005. “These are challenging targets,” said Mr Tyler.

Mr Tyler then launched IATA’s attack on the EU, saying that its approach to ETS was “unilateral” and “distracting” others from focusing on the “real solution.”

The CEO said that the EU’s plans challenged national sovereignty, distorted markets, and would lead to a layering of taxes. “We already see it in Europe with the UK Air Passenger Duty and copycat departure taxes in Germany and Austria,” said Mr Tyler. “All were implemented using environment as a justification but there is no guarantee that any will be eliminated when the ETS takes effect.”

Mr Tyler also claimed that there was no guarantee that any money collected would be put towards environmental initiatives.