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Europe gives US airlines 'go green' ultimatum


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Europe gives US airlines 'go green' ultimatum

Dan Milmo, transport correspondent

guardian.co.uk,

Friday March 14 2008

US airlines must pay for their carbon dioxide emissions or face a curb on flights to the European Union, the EU transport commissioner has warned.

The "go green" ultimatum was issued by Jacques Barrot as the transatlantic airline market undergoes its biggest shakeup in 30 years when limits on flights between the EU and US are lifted this month. Barrot said negotiations on a second phase for the treaty, will include a demand that US carriers join the EU emissions trading scheme or an equivalent system in the US.

He added that requests by Washington for data on passengers overflying the US are disproportionate and will not be accepted by the EU, in a warning that aviation security measures across the Atlantic are becoming too draconian.

However, the environmental dispute between the EU and the US administration, which is refusing to let airlines join a carbon trading scheme, is set to escalate following Barrot's comments on Open Skies negotiations. Discussions on a second phase with officials from the US department of transportation begin in May and Barrot said the EU had the power to withdraw flying rights if a deal is not reached.

"It's always possible to imagine reducing the number of flights or suspending certain rights," he said. The commissioner added that a member of the US Congress environment committee believed a deal on emissions will be possible once the Bush administration ends.

"He told me that attitudes are changing. Particularly with Bush and Cheney gone there is a real hope of things moving on." He added: "The new administration will be under pressure to take new measures."

EU airlines must join the emissions trading scheme in 2012, which could add up to £13 to the price of a return flight as carriers buy "carbon credits" to atone for the emissions made during a flight. All airlines flying in and out of the EU must subscribe to the scheme, including foreign carriers, but the move is opposed by the US. The International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 200 international airlines, has warned that 170 countries oppose the move and it will result in states taking legal action against Europe rather than co-operating with it.

In an interview with guardian.co.uk, Barrot said he would make the environment a priority in negotiations.

"The ideal would be to get the US to join a common emissions trading scheme. If not, we should at least get the US to accept American airlines joining the system for flights into Europe." European carriers want foreign rivals co-opted on to the scheme because airlines who refuse to buy carbon credits will offer lower fares. A spokesman for British Airways said: "In the medium term we want the European scheme to apply to all flights departing from Europe."

The transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, also waded into the argument last year, accusing the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation of a committing a "very great failing" in not setting up a global emissions scheme for airlines. Barrot will also demand that the US government lift restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines and accept EU security procedures. Under the terms of Open Skies, EU states can suspend flights from the US to Europe if insufficient progress is made on a second phase by 2010. The suspensions, which relate to new services that have been launched under the first phase of Open Skies, can take place from 2012.

Full story, source: The Guardian

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who do the EU think they are, oh thats right the high and mighty, i better not say too much,

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anyone who does not have a closed mind or an agenda would go and research this scam. The United Nations have a mission to tax every country in the world on the amount of destruction that they think that country is doing to the enviroment. I will give my life before anyone tells me I am paying taxes that will obviously go into the pockets of hipoccrites. By the way John Coleman the founder of the weather channel just came out saying that a possible lawsuit against Al Gore and his henchmen is imminent. He states that they will sue to have a debate over global warming. Come on people, think for yourselves.

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anyone who does not have a closed mind or an agenda would go and research this scam. The United Nations have a mission to tax every country in the world on the amount of destruction that they think that country is doing to the enviroment. I will give my life before anyone tells me I am paying taxes that will obviously go into the pockets of hipoccrites. By the way John Coleman the founder of the weather channel just came out saying that a possible lawsuit against Al Gore and his henchmen is imminent. He states that they will sue to have a debate over global warming. Come on people, think for yourselves.

well said, (bold) thinking for ones self is becoming a dying art, we've all are/have been conditioned to accpet what ever the governments say with out question, we're all like bloody sheep, BAAAAAAAAA, you only have to look at the smoking ban, speed cameras, if we all stood up and refused to accept it they simply cant enforce it, its all about mind control,

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