EU courts yesterday upheld plans to include carbon pollution from aeroplanes under the EU scheme to tackle climate change by cutting emissions.
The expansion of the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) was controversial with Canadian and American air carriers and the International Air Transport Association who objected on the grounds that EU law wouldn’t apply internationally and could unfairly penalise them.
But the EU Court of Justice found the rules were in line with global agreements, which means the EU Aviation Directive will take effect in January 2012. All carriers will have to buy emission allowances for their flights which pass through European airports.
A transatlantic coalition of environmental groups applauded the decision.
Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK hailed the “victory” for “environmental leadership”.
He said: “We hope that aviation industry lobbyists will now divert their energies into securing an ambitious global agreement to tackle the sector’s soaring emissions rather than trying to tear down the ETS.”