The Executive Committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization, at its meeting in Doha on 2 April 2012, discussed the persistence of the EU in applying its program for the Emission Trading Scheme in spite of the objections voiced by many of the world countries about the legality of this Scheme. The Executive Committee, as a result of its discussions made the following observations:
1- A unilateral application of the EU ETS is violating the essence of the Chicago convention, which stipulates that the Air Transport relations between states need to be regulated by mutual consent and agreement.
2- The resolutions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have explicitly called upon states that wish to introduce initiatives in the environmental footprint of aviation, to do that in agreement with the other states whose institutions might be impacted by such initiatives.
3- The fact that the ETS holds airlines of the world responsible for their emissions before the European authorities, contradicts with the principles of sovereignty of states over their national aerospace, and that national institutions of states are responsible before its own authorities and not the authorities of other countries.
4- The EU’s attempts to impose its own policies on other states will only lead to conflicts and trade wars which will not help the environment, the customer nor will it help the airlines. On the contrary, these attempts will negatively impact those stakeholders thus negatively impacting as well the global economic activity.
5- The environmental cause is a global one and any solution thereof should also be global arrived at under the auspices of the concerned United Nations' agency: ICAO.
6- The Arab Air Carriers Organization is quite aware of the necessity to mitigate the environmental footprint of aviation and it supports taking global measures agreed upon within ICAO.
The Executive Committee finally reaffirmed its call to the European Union to listen to the various voices around the world requesting that the EU allows the International Civil Aviation Organization enough time to achieve a global understanding on how to deal with the environmental footprint of civil aviation, hence for the EU to retract from the unilateral implementation of its ETS. In this context AACO values the follow up undertaken by the Arab Civil Aviation Commission on this subject and calls upon the commission to take a clear and urgent position from the EU ETS, calling upon the EU to redirect its efforts on the environmental issue through ICAO to achieve a global solution and to relinquish its unilateral application of the ETS.