Environmental Defense Fund Calls for Cooperation with European Union on Aviation Pollution

December 6, 2011
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(Washington, D.C. – December 6, 2011) While climate negotiators are battling in Durban this week, transportation representatives from the United States and European Union will meet in Washington, D.C. this Thursday to discuss Europe’s path-breaking anti-pollution law for aviation.

While the United States has stated support for reducing pollution from airplanes, in practice the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration have led the opposition to Europe’s actions. Thursday’s meeting is an opportunity for progress addressing emissions from a sector expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. But will the US take advantage of the opportunity?

“The United States should follow words with action and cooperate with Europe in proposing enforceable emissions reductions for the aviation sector,” said Pamela Campos, attorney with Environmental Defense Fund. “Americans have a proud history of innovation and leadership in the aviation sector. It’s time for the U.S. to stop complaining about Europe’s actions, and instead put homegrown ingenuity to work with our diplomatic allies to show that there is a pathway to sustainable, climate-sensitive air travel.”

Europe’s action, taken only after 15 years of unfruitful negotiations in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), have created renewed pressure for a global system to reduce aviation emissions. The European law takes effect on January 1, 2012 and will lead to emissions reductions on the order of 183 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2020.

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