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EU Rules GHG Scheme for Aviation Is Clean

(CN) - An adviser to Europe's high court has said that the European Union's inclusion of the aviation sector in a greenhouse gas allowance trading scheme is compatible with international law.

Advocate General Julianne Kokott of the European Court of Justice said a 2008 provision adding international flights to a 2003 EU directive on greenhouse gas allowance trading does not violate the Kyoto Protocol, Chicago Convention or "Open Skies Agreement."

U.S. and Canadian companies had challenged the allowance trading scheme, as applying to international flights within the EU, in United Kingdom courts.

The adviser's non-binding opinion essentially said that airlines cannot rely on international agreements, as the EU directive applies only to arrivals and departures.

The market-based directive is perfectly compatible with international law, Kokott opined, since emission allowances are bought and sold in that context.

The Chicago Convention established airspace rules, while "Open Skies" signifies a multilateral agreement liberalizing the aviation industry.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty signed in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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