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// European court gives green light to airline carbon charges
A RULING from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) giving the green light to charges on airlines for carbon emissions on long haul flights to and from Europe from January 1st has sparked a furious row between the EU and the US.
The scheme, which comes into effect from the start of next month, is intended to encourage airlines to emit less carbon by being more fuel-efficient. It could cost the industry about €9 billion a year when fully implemented and could add between €1 and €12 to the price of airline tickets.
However, the charges are expected to add only 25 cent to average ticket prices in coming months.
Under the scheme, airlines will be given pollution permits set just below their average historical emissions record. They will have to buy permits from other less polluting carriers if they exceed their allocation.
Peter Liese, the German MEP responsible for the original Bill, said long-haul airlines should be paying no more than €1 per passenger to fly to the east coast of the US. He warned that any airline who charged more than that would either be trying to "fool the passenger" or has "a very old and dirty fleet".
The c o ur t decision has increased tension between the EU and the US, which has been vociferous in its objection to the new carbon tax.
The US Congress is considering draft legislation making it an offence for US airlines to pay the tax.
Chairman of the European Parliament's environment committee Jo Leinen said the proposed US legislation was "arrogant and ignorant".
The storm first blew up when a case against the new carbon emissions programme was taken to the British High Court of Justice by the Air Transport Association of America, American Airlines and United Continental. It was referred to the ECJ.
Yesterday the court ruled that the "application of the emissions t rading scheme to aviation infringes neither the principles of customary international law at issue, nor the open-skies agreement".
The airlines said they would comply with the directive but only "under protest".
22 Dec 2011
The Irish Times
Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Added By: Tony Lowes
Comments: 1 | Add Comment
|John-Patrick Bell on 29/12/2011|
If the E.U. environmental people are rightly concerned r.e. co2, why dont they stop the hydraulic fracking in shale gas mining which releases tons of methane gas in its operations? Methane is a hundred times more destructive, lets have some joined up thinking.
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