EU carbon trade scheme in jeopardy: sources
By Barbara Lewis and Valerie Volcovici, ReutersBRUSSELS/MONTREAL--Britain, France and Germany are prepared to water down the EU's position on aviation emissions as a way to strike a global deal, after some regions threatened a trade war when the EU imposed restrictions on its own, sources close to the talks said.
October 4, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
But the sources said the shift could jeopardize the EU's carbon trading scheme — the central plank of its climate policy — and put the three countries on a collision course with the European Parliament, which could reintroduce the EU emissions restrictions if it is not happy with a global deal.
“These three countries — France, Germany and Britain — are putting the whole deal at stake,” one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meeting in Montreal to try to resolve the global row, which was sparked when the EU introduced a law making airlines using EU airports pay for their carbon emissions. Two weeks of talks are slated to end on Friday.
The outcome will have implications for international relations, aviation competitiveness and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which is already struggling under a burden of surplus carbon allowances.
The EU introduced its law after a decade of ICAO talks failed to reach a deal on aviation emissions, which account for 5 percent of global warming, according to U.N. data, and are expected to triple by 2050.
But, after international outrage, the bloc agreed to suspend for one year its law for intercontinental flights.
Sources close to the matter said Britain, France and Germany - which represent some of the EU's biggest aviation interests, including IAG, Airbus, Deutsche Lufthansa and Air France-KLM - were instrumental in agreeing to the delay, and were ready to back down again.