As the International Civil Aviation Organization began the final approach to its 38th assembly, which began Tuesday in Montreal, Sen. John Thune sent a letter to ICAO’s ambassador to the U.S. mission, among others, asking him to make sure the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme is not implemented again and expressing his support for a global solution.
One of the main goals of the ICAO assembly, which runs through Oct. 4, is to form a market-based emissions cap to replace the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme, which has been wholly rejected by governments around the world as a tax on flying into Europe.
In December 2011, Thune helped author a bill that blocked U.S. airlines from paying the EU tax. Carriers worldwide were to start paying for emissions credits when flying into Europe starting in January 2012; the European Union suspended its program in early 2012, but warned it would be reinstated if ICAO couldn’t come up with a satisfactory global plan.
In the letter, Thune thanked the ambassador, Todd Stern, for his work opposing the European Union’s emissions scheme, reminding him that his emissions-blocking bill promises to protect U.S. airlines from the European Union’s scheme. More important, however, the bill also encourages officials to consider a worldwide approach and conduct international negotiations to that end.
“Like many, I have always believed that ICAO was the most appropriate venue to tackle global aviation emissions concerns, and the upcoming assembly meeting is an important opportunity to make strides towards worldwide consensus,” he wrote. “I am hopeful a positive outcome can occur at this meeting without undercutting or jeopardizing the U.S. position.”