Despite popular opinion in Brussels, the EU does not rule the world
The Obama administration is laying the groundwork for possible retaliation in response to a European law requiring airlines to pay for carbon emissions.
Discussions between key agencies have ramped up recently, although there is no consensus yet on what, if anything, the U.S. government should do unilaterally or in concert with other nations also upset with the law.
The EU law went into effect on January 1 and requires global airlines to pay for carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe.
Several experts said one option the United States could pursue would involve charging European airlines to maintain U.S. access to pressure EU policymakers. This strategy was used by the United States in a recently concluded dispute with Argentina over landing fees.
“We are contemplating a wide range of possible steps that we could take, or actions that we might take,” a senior administration official told Reuters.
Before the Christmas, I discussed the EU plan to introduce a climate protection racket on all airlines whose flights end on the EU territory. (You may decide whether the three-word term is derived from “climate protection” or from “protection racket”.) The companies should pay money for every pound of CO2, including the CO2 emitted away from the European airspace.
We knew that it should have come into force since the beginning of 2012. The civilized world, the third world, as well as China and India protested against the EU intents as examples of organized crime that contradicts the international law.
Now it’s 2012. What happened with this explosive global warming proposal?
Well, in the case of China, it’s simple. The China Air Transport Association has assured the European bureaucrats that there’s no way they will pay the climate protection racket. The Chinese comrades want the Europeans to negotiate.
So Chinese airlines won’t pay the fee that the carbon criminals in the Brussels would love to call a “law”. It remains to be seen whether others will pay it; Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines Inc. are already planning to comply and hike the prices. If these two companies and others will pay it, they may gradually run “out of business” while their Chinese counterparts may stay “in the pidgin”.
The Chinese comparative advantage may become sufficient for the Chinese airlines to supersede the airlines from all the weak countries that don’t have the courage to tell them “Screw you, Eurotrash”. So far, we’re not there: Delta only added $6 per average round-trip flight (one percent of the price) which won’t make a difference. But it won’t make a difference with emissions, either. If the EU found Delta et al. to be obedient enough, they may raise the levy substantially so that it does make a difference. (The Reference Frame)