As long as the coalition of the unwilling tries to stall EU measures, airlines will chase profit regardless of sustainability
US senators and about 20 countries met in Washington this week to oppose Europe’s decision to charge airlines for their carbon emissions by including them in its emissions trading scheme (ETS). This “coalition of the unwilling” failed to agree on a joint declaration, but a US spokesman said: “The meeting confirmed strong opposition to the ETS, but indicated interest in continuing to work on the suite of activities in the International Civil Aviation Organization [to tackle emissions from aviation].”
To hear this coalition speak of the need for the ICAO to tackle aviation emissions makes it sound as if the problem appeared yesterday and the Chicago Convention created ICAO just last week.
In fact, attempts to address this problem on a global basis have been festering for more than 15 years in ICAO and the United States is at the centre of the problem. For US senators to urge official action only now, when Europe drew up legislation in 2007, says it all. It’s not calls for action at ICAO we need, it is deeds, and they have been very few and infrequent, particularly from Washington.