ETS opposition meeting in Moscow
February 29th, 2012 by elisa

The meeting of countries opposed to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) took place in Moscow a few days ago. The result is a declaration signed by 23 countries listing eight measures they will consider adopting unless the ETS is scrapped.

The US, China, Brazil, India, Japan and Russia are among those who have signed, but Canada, Egypt and Qatar, who were involved in earlier protests against the scheme, decided against signing the declaration.

The retaliatory steps in the declaration include imposing new taxes on EU airlines, and suspending talks about giving European carriers more flying rights outside the bloc. Also, Russia has threatened to cap flights by airlines from the European Union, such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Russia’s deputy transport minister Valery Okulov said he was looking at giving preference to routes over Siberia to carriers from Japan, China and other Asian nations instead of those from the EU. This measure could force the airlines to take longer and more expensive routes to Asia and Australia, which may mean numbers of new flights will be limited.

Moscow is also considering banning Russian airlines from taking part in the scheme, following China’s example. A similar action is also being considered by the US Congress. However, the alliance of opponents have backed away from the more extreme measures, such as re-opening existing EU trade deals to pressure European industries.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate commissioner, maintains that Brussels will not back down on the particulars of the scheme.

The officials gathered in Moscow will meet again in Saudi Arabia in the summer.


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