News / Economy

Airlines Urge UN Deal on Emissions to Avoid Trade War

FILE - The first scheduled Boeing 787 airplane to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, takes off October 2, 2012. FILE - The first scheduled Boeing 787 airplane to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, takes off October 2, 2012.
x
FILE - The first scheduled Boeing 787 airplane to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, takes off October 2, 2012.
FILE - The first scheduled Boeing 787 airplane to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, takes off October 2, 2012.
Reuters
Airlines on Monday urged a U.N. aviation group to back a mandatory global framework to curb airline emissions, saying failure to reach a deal would revive threats of a trade war.
 
The International Air Transport Association, which represents some 200 airlines, said the United Nations' aviation agency could agree on a new system when its 191 states begin their assembly in Montreal this week.
 
The U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets standards for air travel, is under pressure to make headway toward resolving one of the worst aviation disputes in years, pitting the European Union against its trade rivals. The ICAO meets in full once every three years.
 
Greenhouse gas emissions from commercial flights are growing at a steep rate. The EU in 2011 came up with regulations to charge airlines for carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe over EU airspace, but it has suspended the scheme to allow opponents, led by China and the United States, to agree on a global plan to curb aviation emissions under U.N. auspices. The EU has threatened to put the scheme back into effect if there is no deal.
 
“If the assembly agrees what could be done from 2020, and what should be done in the meantime, I believe governments will work toward implementing that,” IATA Director General Tony Tyler told reporters on a conference call on Monday.
 
Earlier this month, preliminary negotiations led to a breakthrough ahead of the full ICAO assembly, but diplomats say some countries, such as India, are still unhappy about the plan which would allow the EU to charge only for its own airspace.
 
China has suspended billions of dollars of orders of Airbus jets to protest the original European scheme.
 
Tyler said agreement by countries on a global market-based solution, the details of which would need to be worked out, was preferable to regional measures such as the EU's controversial Emissions Trading Scheme.
 
“We think that a global mandatory carbon offsetting scheme will be the simplest and easiest (market-based measure) to implement,” he said.
 
Without progress at ICAO, “we'll be back where we were over a year ago on the brink of a trade war,” Tyler said. “That's a very serious risk which we clearly need to try to avoid.”
 
Failure to reach an ICAO resolution could also mean the “proliferation of regional schemes, of taxes, charges” by different governments to penalize airlines and passengers, he said.
 
Pressure for a deal increased after IATA's members, some of whom reflect the views of their state shareholders, settled their own differences by calling for a single market-based system to offset growth in post-2020 emissions.
 
Until recently, however, little progress has been made in the U.N. effort to craft an agreement to lower emissions from international air travel.
 
The EU says its rules spurred international action and that curbing airline emissions is essential to meeting climate goals.
 
One of the key remaining questions is to what extent small nations representing one percent or less of aviation emissions should have to take part in the reduction efforts.
 
IATA was originally set up to help the U.N. harmonize aviation and acts mainly as a lobby for the airline industry.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.