Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Eurozone’s misguided “green” air cargo policy

Several countries, including India and China, have prohibited their airlines from participating in the EU scheme.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 07, 2012

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, is joining Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in resistance to the application of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which seeks to unlawfully tax U.S. airlines and establishes a dangerous precedent that could be used to tax the products and services of other U.S. industries.

Several countries, including India and China, have prohibited their airlines from participating in the EU scheme. The U.S. House of Representatives has taken similar action and A4A called on the Senate to pass S. 1956, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act, which would similarly prohibit U.S. carriers from participating in the EU ETS.

“Urgent, concrete action by the United States is needed to overturn the EU ETS and bring the EU back to the negotiating table in support of a global framework,” said A4A Vice President, Environmental Affairs Nancy Young, recently testified before the Senate Commerce Committee. “The United States, in its role as a world leader, must wield the tools it has to remove the wrong measure in favor of the right one.”

A4A urged the United States to initiate a legal challenge under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to drive the EU to negotiate a resolution. ICAO has authority to address violations of the Chicago Convention and also is working to complete the global framework for aviation greenhouse gas emissions provisionally agreed at its 2010 Assembly.

A4A, its members and every impacted non-EU country opposes the application of this cap-and-trade tax scheme to airlines and aircraft operators, and are committed to seeing it overturned. As currently administered, U.S. carriers must account for emissions on the ground in the United States, across Canada and across the open seas, paying tax on 100 percent of the emissions of flights to and from the EU, even though only a small portion of those emissions occur in EU airspace. The funds collected do not have to be used for environmental purposes and in fact can be used to stave off Europe’s debt crisis.

Young noted that aviation is not the only U.S. sector at risk. “Simply put, if the EU can tax the emissions over the entirety of a flight merely because it touches down in Europe, what is to keep the EU from imposing greenhouse gas import taxes on U.S. autos, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other goods? And on what basis will the United States stand up against other countries that seek to do the same?” Young said.

At the same time, it is important to note that A4A and its member airlines are aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and, with fuel-efficiency improvements.

They have been eliminating 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide since 1978, and have a strong record of meeting that commitment.

By investing billions of dollars in fuel-saving aircraft and engines, innovative technologies and advanced avionics, the U.S. airline industry improved its fuel efficiency by 120 percent between 1978 and 2011, resulting in emissions savings equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road each of those years.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in October at 135.7 (2000=100) was up 1.9 percent compared to September’s 133.1, and the ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 139.8 in October, which was 0.9 percent ahead of September.

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline fell 3.7 cents to $2.445 per gallon, according to data issued today by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This marks the lowest weekly price for diesel since June 1, 2009, when it was at $2.352 per gallon.

In its report, entitled “Grey is the new Black,” JLL takes a close look at supply chain-related trends that can influence retailers’ approaches to Black Friday.

This year, it's all about the digital supply network. In this virtual conference, we will define the challenges currently facing supply chain organizations and offer solutions designed to transform linear operations into dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, visibility, and the ability to respond and optimize processes at any given time.

In his opening comments assessing the economy at last week’s RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, FTR Senior analyst Larry Gross said the economy continues to slog ahead at a relatively tepid pace, coupled with some volatility in terms of overall GDP growth. And amid that slogging, Gross said there is currently an economic hand-off occurring between the industrial sector and the consumer sector.

Article Topics

Blogs · Green · Transportation · Trade · All topics


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA