Lufthansa is calling on European Union regulators to postpone implementation of the EU’s carbon trading scheme, saying opposition around the world threatens to undermine trade as Europe struggles to stave off a recession.
“In the current situation, Europe cannot afford to let far-reaching conflicts escalate with its most important partners,” the German carrier said in a policy statement issued at the end of December. “It is clear that only further negotiations will bring about a solution.”
The EU was preparing to implement carbon trading in the aviation sector Jan. 1, 2012, over the strong objections from the Uniited States, China and India. A court in Brussels in October cleared the way for the plan by rejecting a complaint from the Air Transport Association of America on behalf of U.S. airlines.
The U.S. House approved a measure that would bar American carriers from taking part in the EU carbon trading. U.S. lawmakers haven’t given full approval to a bar on participation but Lufthansa said in its policy brief “serious strains in the important EU-U.S. relationship loom.”
Authorities in China have said they would consider punitive actions against the European aviation industry, which could include aircraft maker Airbus. And officials in India have expressed opposition. An Air India official, who was not identified, told the Business Standard newspaper in India the airline ”will have to think twice before we decide to launch additional flights to Europe.’’
Lufthansa said the trading scheme “must inevitably be postponed, as a growing number of politicians in Brussels and Berlin are demanding.”
The airline said a global agreement on carbon emissions reductions should be negotiated through the International Civil Aviation Organization.