November 1, 2011
Twenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest on Wednesday against a European Union law to make airlines pay for carbon emissions — adding to transatlantic tension on an issue that has triggered a tit-for-tat bill in the U.S. Congress.
Under EU legislation, from January 1 all flights to or from Europe will have to buy carbon permits to help offset their emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) — the 27 member bloc’s prime tool for trying to curb the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Last week, in the U.S. Congress, where environmental issues have become a flashpoint between Republicans and President Barack Obama’s Democrats, the lower house passed a bill making it illegal for airlines to comply with the EU’s law.
On Wednesday this week, a council meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO.L in Montreal, Canada is also expected to take up the airlines’ cause.