Growing opposition to ETS
January 26th, 2012 by elisa

There is growing opposition to the European Commission’s Emission’s Trading Scheme (ETS), which came into force at the beginning of the year.

China has already threatened legal action and declared it will not cooperate with the scheme. The most recent opposition has come from India, who has warned retaliatory measures are being considered. A meeting between delegates from the countries against the ETS is to be held in either New Delhi or Moscow in the near future, the result of which could affect flights to hundreds of destinations.

Chris Goater, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said: “Retaliatory measures have been mentioned, and they must be avoided. It could result in a patchwork of different taxes on aviation, with airlines being taxed by two or three different governments. Airlines already have incredibly thin profit margins, so they could certainly result in higher air fares.”

The cost of the tax is being passed onto customers, as this month, Ryanair introduced a fee of 21p (€0.25) per person per flight to cover the cost of the ETS. A spokesperson for the airline, Stephen McNamara, warned that if other airlines hold off doing this, then they will be forced to raise their prices sharply when they finally do, which will impact more so on customers.

Lufthansa said it expects the scheme to cost it around £109 million this year, and has increased its fuel surcharge on European and long-haul flights by £2.50 and £8.40 respectively.

Flights have become much more expensive already with the introduction of the Air Passenger Duty Tax, billed as an environmental tax when it was introduced in 1994. There are calls for this to be lowered to offset the new ETS.

What do you think about the ETS? Please leave comments in the box below.

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