UN Backs Fight Against EU Airline Law

by | Nov 3, 2011

The U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization came down yesterday against the European Union’s plans to force non-EU airlines into a cap and trade scheme.

The ICAO adopted a working paper by 26 of its 36 member countries, urging Brussels not to require compliance from non-EU carriers, Reuters reports. Under EU proposals, airlines will have to start participating in the European cap and trade program on January 1, by buying meeting a limit on carbon emissions or buying permits to make up the shortfall. The rules will apply to flights within, to and from the EU.

The 26 countries, including the U.S. and China, last week lodged a formal complaint through the ICAO.

The countries said the plan would violate a 1944 pact giving each country authority over its own skies, and that the rules would penalize those countries furthest away from Europe.

The airline industry said the rules could cost it 1.2 billion euros in 2012, an amount equal to a quarter of this year’s profits, and airlines called for action to prevent disruption to trade.

Last week the House of Representatives voted to shield U.S. passenger and cargo airlines from the EU law. It is not yet clear if the Senate will back the bill.

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