United States still formulating opinion on the EU ETS, says top US international aviation negotiator
John Byerly, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, US State Department
Fri 27 Mar 2009 – The new US administration is still working out its position on the inclusion of US carriers into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, says John Byerly, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs at the State Department. He was speaking yesterday at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Aviation Symposium, reports ATW Daily News. Last year, under the previous administration, the US took a tough line on the issue, sending diplomatic notes to the EU saying the inclusion breached the Chicago Convention and was therefore illegal.
“What is the US position on ETS? No position has been taken,” he told attendees. He said that the new administration was still working to appoint key individuals to top spots dealing with international aviation.
Byerly has acted as the senior US negotiator with Europe on a number of recent aviation issues, including the Open Skies agreement reached last year which opens up transatlantic airline competition. He was also reported to have met with the UK Treasury to protest over UK Government plans, later abandoned, to replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-plane tax, and was involved with the diplomatic notes over the ETS (see story).
The EU is hoping the new administration will take a different stance on the ETS and avoid a confrontation, perhaps leading to a linking of the scheme with a potential US cap-and-trade system.
In the meantime, US carriers operating to and from Europe must submit by the end of August monitoring plans in preparation for the start of their inclusion into the scheme from 2012 and apply for their free emissions permits. They are currently being advised to “comply under protest” by their industry representatives.