The airline industry is supposed to join the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)—already a requirement for other heavily polluting industries—in January, but the industry has been fighting the requirement.
But the advocate general at the European Court of Justice has issued an opinion in support of the plan to charge airlines for their carbon emissions, saying: "The inclusion of international aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme is compatible with the provisions and principles of international law invoked."The New York Times calls the plan the EU's "boldest step yet to lead the world in efforts to control climate change," and the opinion "a significant blow to the global airline industry's effort to avoid being required" to pay for its emissions.
AP says that although the opinion is not binding for the court, it is followed in most cases.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. is not happy with the opinion. The Air Transport Association of America industry group is disappointed and said the news "does not mark the end of the case."
The U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for transportation affairs said, "We, along with several other states, intend to continue to press our European partners to exclude non-EU air carriers" from the system.
More on airlines and the Emissions Trading Scheme:
US Objects to Its Airlines Having to Pay For Their Pollution in EU Emission Trading Scheme
Airlines To Be Included in EU Emission Trading Scheme from 2012
If Airlines & Passengers Can't Afford To Pay For Their Emissions, We Can't Afford To Fly At All
Will Europe's Move to Tax Airlines' CO2 Emissions Spark a Global Trade War?