Istanbul - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) blasted the decision of the European Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers for rubber stamping - and sealing into law - Europe’s decision to bring air transport into the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2012.

“Crisis is not the time for rubber stamps. But that is exactly what the Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers used today - without a word of debate - to seal into law the EUR 3.5 billion cost of bringing airlines into the European ETS. It’s Brussels acting in a bubble - even in the middle of a global economic crisis,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“IATA does not oppose emissions trading. Positive economic measures are part of the industry’s four pillar strategy to address climate change. Along with economic measures, we need to improve efficiency with technology, operations and infrastructure. While Brussels has been fast to introduce its regional ETS scheme, it has been slow to improve efficiency. We need the same urgency to deliver an effective Single European Sky that would save billions of Euros in cost and 16 million tonnes of CO2 annually. That we have been waiting decades for this is Europe’s biggest environmental embarrassment,’ said Bisignani.

Bisignani highlighted the need for a global approach that is fair and effective. ”In the most recent G8 declaration, Prime Minister Berlusconi, Prime Minister Brown, Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy supported ICAO’s leadership to deliver a global solution for aviation and the environment. Now we need to see some supporting action. The best way to a global solution is through ICAO’s Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC). Brussels must support the success of this process,” said Bisignani.

IATA also noted the inclusion of aviation in Europe’s general review of its ETS programmes. “Reviewing the effectiveness of emissions trading where programmes have been operational has value. But what enlightened decisions can we expect from a review that will conclude even before today’s decision takes effect in 2012?” questioned Bisignani. “Far better that we address this on the basis of experience than speculation.”

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.