Arthur Neslen writes at the Guardian:
When President Barack Obama gave his long-awaited climate change speech in June, many US environmentalists bought the notion that a green giant was awakening in the White House.
“Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm,” Obama warned climate laggards then.
Here’s a problem though. One environmental foot-dragger President Obama could have addressed this comment to is … President Obama.
On Wednesday, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) is expected to approve a US-backed text that would restrict Europe’s efforts to make airlines pay for their emissions under its carbon trading scheme, and stall global efforts to charge airlines for their pollution until 2016 or later.
In recent years, Europe has tried to make aviation pay under its emissions trading system (ETS), and with good reason.
Airlines are the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas output. Already responsible for 5% of the world’s annual global warming, by 2030 their emissions are projected to double from 2005 levels.
Yet last November, Obama signed a Congressional act authorising the US transport secretary to prevent US airlines from participating in the ETS.