Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EU ETS - Not taking off for now

After months of suspense, news of the EU ETS' extension to the aviation sector being postponed is trickling in. I have blogged on this contentious issue here, here, here and here.

NYT reported that the EU had temporarily postponed the measure in an effort to find a global solution. The system, which requires airlines using an airport in Europe to obtain or buy permits corresponding to the amount of gases they emit, had generated intense opposition among foreign governments. The EU had faced increased opposition from China, India and the U.S. which had alleged that unilateral standards were being imposed on an issue that required a multilateral solution. 26 countries had also signed a joint declaration in this regard. Financial reported the move here. Scott Lincicome has captured the latest move succinctly here.

Is this just a temporary reprieve or will this lead to a global solution to the complex question of airline emissions and environment protection? Did trade interests of Airbus (China had threatened to cancel its orders) have any role to play n this reversal of stand by the EU? Is the threat of re-imposition of an airline emission tax sufficient to force countries to forge a multilateral agreement? Will mulitlateralism prevail in an era of growing plurilateral, bilateral and unilateral measures?

Let us wait for April 2014, when the deadline is back in reckoning?

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