U.S. airlines must join the EU emissions trading scheme or an equivalent system in the U.S. or they could face fewer flights to the European Union, Jacques Barrot the EU transport commissioner, has warned, according to the Guardian.
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.”
All airlines flying in and out of the EU must join the scheme but the International Air Transport Association has warned that 170 countries oppose the move.
European carriers want foreign rivals coopted on to the scheme because airlines who refuse to buy carbon credits will offer lower fares.
In June, a group of six associations representing European airlines published a study that found airlines would have to spend over $60 billion between 2011 and 2022 buying up credits from more fuel-efficient industries to meet their quotas.
Airline emissions were not part of the Kyoto Protocol’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Limits on airlines were left to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency. In September, the IACO passed a resolution opposing plans to include foreign airlines in the scheme.