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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    China & U.S. are best friends

    China & U.S. are best friends when it comes to polluting the world.




    U.S. fights EU on airline carbon emissions



    On Wednesday, the European Union’s highest court fended off a challenge from the U.S. and established greenhouse gas emissions controls for all airlines flying anywhere in Europe. Airlines now will be required to pay or trade for gas emission allowances, beginning Jan. 1, although the first year is largely free of charge.
    Could the U.S. be far behind in creating a similar cap-and-trade system? The EU fight doesn’t make it look good.
    “A number of U.S. airlines and then the U.S. airline industry association [now known as Airlines for America] fought it in the European courts, which is why we had this decision [Wednesday],” said Martin Wagner, managing attorney for the International Program at Earthjustice. The group joined a coalition of environmental groups in support of the EU position at the high court in Luxembourg. India and China registered objections to the EU regs.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went so far as to issue a letter to the EU on the day before the ruling, threatening “appropriate action.” She did not mean compliance.
    “Her letter was of somewhat suspicious timing, in that it came just before the European court was scheduled to issue its decision, and called on Europe not to issue these regulations, and essentially issued a threat of some kind of retaliatory action from the United States,” Wagner said. “Which is at least a suggestion of a lack of respect for Europe’s laws and for its court.”
    Airline emissions are now estimated to contribute 3% of global carbon emissions. Half of that comes from U.S. airlines – more than five times more than the next greatest airline emitter. With growth in the airline industry, overall greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes are expected to triple by mid-century.
    There are also concerns over airline emissions because they are emitted high in the atmosphere, where they contribute to cloud and contrail formation. Some scientists have estimated that the global warming effects of those emissions are much higher than the CO2 produced, just because of their altitude.
    Even with millions of cars and trucks on the roads in the U.S., airlines account for 12% of transportation emissions nationwide.
    “We have petitioned the U.S. EPA, calling on [it] to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from aircraft, and we’re currently having to sue them to respond to that petition because they haven’t yet,” Wagner added.
    The airlines and regulators now face the sticky task of leveling the economic playing field through a global regulatory system for airlines emissions. We won’t see this anytime soon.
    U.S. fights EU on airline carbon emissions - latimes.com

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    China threatens trade war over EU jet emissions tax

    The "environmental squeeze" that helped prompt British Airways owner IAG's takeover of BMI is set to ignite a trade war between China and Europe after the EU's top court upheld a move to charge airlines using the Continent's airspace for their greenhouse gas emissions.
    Beijing yesterday threatened disruptions to trade with the EU after the European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that the emissions tax would go ahead as planned on 1 January. The move added China's voice to that of America, which last week warned that it would take "appropriate action" if the proposed charges were not amended or delayed.
    The state-run Xinhua News Agency, which acts as the Chinese government's mouthpiece, said: "This is a trade barrier in the name of environmental protection and will strike a blow to passenger benefits and the international airline industry. It will be difficult to avoid a trade war focused on an aviation 'carbon tax'." The European Commission has calculated that costs per passenger could rise by about £21 on a return transatlantic flight as a result of the emissions charge.
    The ruling from the European Court of Justice will intensify the pressure on airlines exerted by environmental concerns, adding to the woes of an industry already reeling from high fuel costs and the weak US and European economies.
    The takeover of BMI, by BA and Iberia owner IAG, was prompted by its desire to secure lucrative landing slots at Heathrow, after a third runway at the international airport was finally ruled out last year on environmental grounds.
    Edward Stanford, an analyst at Oriel Securities, said: "Heathrow landing slots are as rare as hen's teeth. The only way to get more is to buy another airline which has them."
    BA is expected to utilise BMI's landing slots far more efficiently, by significantly increasing the size of the planes using many of them.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/china-threatens-trade-war-over-eu-jet-emissions-tax-6280813.html

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