Congress votes to keep US carriers immune from EU scheme
Despite sharp and widespread international criticism from airlines both inside and outside Europe, the European Union seems determined to press ahead with its carbon emission rules. The EU’s plans to force all airlines flying within its aerospace to be part of its Emissions Trading Scheme from 1 January 2012 have already angered IATA, while Russia and China say they will stand against any inclusion in the ETS.
Now the US Congress has voted to ensure that US operators of civil aircraft are “held harmless” from the plan. Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner, wrote on Twitter: “We are confident that the US will respect EU law, as EU always respects US law.” The bill protecting US carriers now goes to a vote in the Senate will ultimately have to be signed by the president. “We do not intend to modify our adopted legislation,” said an EU spokesperson.
[pictured: Contrails over Nova Scotia; courtesy NASA]