Clear Thinking and Moderation Needed in Escalating EU Aviation Carbon Standoff

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Alternative investment portal carbon-investments.co.uk today uploaded a commentary on the growing tension between the European Union and several other states; notably China, Russia and the USA; over the EU’s unilateral inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS – the Union’s compulsory greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. In-house commentator Frank Quin suggests that failure to resolve the dispute at an early stage could lead to damaging escalation and evaluates the role which might be played in defusing the tension by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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Here, surely, if ever there was one, is a situation urgently requiring clear-headed, expert and impartial intervention from a universally respected international moderator with a track record of sound, workable solutions.

In a commentary uploaded to its website today, alternative investment portal invezz.com looks to the implications of the dispute between the European Union and several major states over the inclusion of international aviation in the EU ETS – the EU’s compulsory greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. carbon-investments.co.uk is an initiative of Dezz* and provides a range of news, information and guidance on trading in carbon credits and wider aspects of investment in climate change mitigation.

In his commentary, invezz.com’s Frank Quin notes that, while China was the first to vocalize strident opposition to the EU’s move on aviation – by ordering its various international carriers not to buy carbon credits or in any other way to participate in the EU ETS without specific authorization from Beijing – other states soon weighed in. These include other heavyweights - the United States, Russia and Brazil. By the third week of February, a meeting of the so-called “coalition of the unwilling” – some 26 countries – had been convened in Moscow and agreement quickly reached on a range of what Reuters dubbed “a basket of retaliatory measures.” The invezz.com commentary notes that such action could include the re-imposition by Russia of an “overfly” tax on European airlines, abandoned during the early 2000s, which Quin describes as “a measure replete in Cold War tit-for-tat."

Quin observes that, if not defused at an early stage, this standoff between the EU and other major states has the potential to escalate in damaging fashion. He writes, “Here, surely, if ever there was one, is a situation urgently requiring clear-headed, expert and impartial intervention from a universally respected international moderator with a track record of sound, workable solutions. In the regrettable absence of such a paragon, we have to make do with the ICAO – the International Civil Aviation Organisation, an appendage of the United Nations.”

The commentary in invezz.com notes that both sides to this dispute have seemingly recognized a role for the ICAO. But, as Quin observes, the ICAO as moderator would ideally bring “a clear and consistent stance on climate change, aviation’s contribution to the process, the importance of mitigation by trade in carbon credits and other mechanisms, and all the related wisdom on dealing with global warming.” The commentary continues: “Regrettably, the ICAO’s track record on climate change and aviation’s contribution is modest, to say the least.” A visit to the ICAO website reveals no evidence of cohesion amongst the organization's 191 member states, as regards the merits of carbon credits or otherwise, and with its climate change initiative stalled in a process of soliciting national emissions reduction plans from each. Quin describes the process as “[l]ike getting 10th graders to do their homework,” with the responses to date “begrudging and uneven.”

Yet the invezz.com commentary ends on an upbeat note. Perhaps this standoff can bring out the best in the staid UN body. As Quin says, “Cometh the hour, cometh the ICOA”.

To read the full article and learn more on the EU ETS aviation issue, visit invezz.com

*About Dezz
Dezz is a UK-based boutique digital media company which aims to provide original and reliable information in the area of carbon credit trading, timber investments and other sustainable investments to large investment company decision-makers, to NGOs and to eco-minded individuals.

Dezz Limited, 843 Finchley Road, London, NW11 8NA
Registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company. Company Number: 07376661

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