EU airline pollution plan could spark trade wars: industry officials

GENEVA, July 5, 2008 (AFP) – A plan by the European Union to impose a carbon dioxide emissions quota for all airlines flying into and out of the bloc could spark trade wars, aviation industry officials warned. The so-called emissions trading scheme, which is to be voted on by the EU lawmakers next week, aims at cutting aviation pollution by forcing airlines to lower emissions by 3.0 percent in the first year and by 5.0 percent from 2013.

Airlines can exceed these caps, but they would have to pay for permits to do so.

All airlines — European and non-European — flying in and out of the EU would be brought into the scheme from 2012.

In addition, between 2013-2020, airlines also would have to pay for 15 percent of their emissions.

Officials from the International Air Transport Association, which represents the interests of the airline industry, told AFP that while the industry supported the principle of an emissions trading scheme, it wanted a global standard to be set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

They said IATA was opposed to EU’s “unilateral” plan, which it they said violated an international aviation convention.

IATA Director for Government and Indust