Saturday, July 14, 2012

US continues campaign against EU airline tax

The US will host a meeting in order to "pil[e] further pressure on the EU to back down and the international community to find a global solution..." to greenhouse gas emissions.  From Reuters.  "Finding a global solution" is of course a euphemism for "doing nothing."  That's because of course the EU tax is a step toward a global solution, and it would be effectively global if the US adopted it.  Instead, the plan here is to gather officials from similarly opposing countries including India and China--a "coalition of the unwilling"--to agree to retaliatory measures against the EU.  Behind every diplomatic effort is a lobbyist:
Airlines will not have to pay for the permits until next year, and are pressing their governments to agree on a global deal before then.   
Russ Bailey, a senior attorney for the Air Line Pilots Association, a U.S. lobby group, said time is running out for EU ETS opponents to come up with a viable alternative. 
"There is a sense of urgency because airlines have to start paying next April. We hope there will be a resolution that becomes clear enough before then," he told Reuters Point Carbon."  
I doubt that Bailey has in mind a resolution that every country will adopt the EU system, even though that would be crystal clear as far as resolutions go.  The global deal sought here is reversion to the status quo, of that there can be little doubt.  

1 comment:

  1. I admit to not being as much of an expert in this as should but I will make a few remarks.

    1. For the US to complain about the extraterritorialty of the EU ETS is beyond rich in light of the US' own extraterritorial tax policies. At the end of the day the EU ETS does not effect for example overflights of EU airspace by US carriers to third countries such as Switzerland, Israel, and Russia.

    2. Other countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and the CDN province of British Columbia all have various forms of environmental fees and taxes on airlines greenhouse gas emissions. In fact it could be argued that the NZ, AUS, and BC systems are in spirit much more against the conventions governing international aviation that prohibit taxation of jet fuel. (The NZ ETS is technically a cap and trade system like the EU ETS but is based on "GST" "tax like" requirement for carbon credits to be purchased on the import or manufacture of jet fuel. BC and AUS are both pure carbon "taxes").

    3. There are legitimate concerns for carriers operating between NZ, AUS, and BC(in particular BC as neither AUS or NZ have direct non stop flights to EU destinations) in terms of double taxation. To the extent the EU scheme includes overlflights of third countries such as Canada and international waters there should also be some mitigating measures.