Advisory: Media briefing on upcoming court hearing on U.S. airlines' attack on European climate law

June 28, 2011


Jennifer Andreassen, 202-572-3387,
Tim Johnson, +44 (0) 7710-381742,

Wednesday, June 29
2 p.m. Washington (EDT) 7 p.m. London (BST) 11 a.m. Sacramento (PDT)

Oral arguments begin in Europe’s highest court next Tuesday, July 5, as two U.S. airlines sue the European Union to gut the “Aviation Directive,” the only program in the world that sets enforceable limits on carbon pollution from aviation.

U.S. and European environmental groups who have intervened in the lawsuit in support of the EU law will host a media briefing to cover the case’s background, and its potential implications for efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector and more broadly.

Tim Johnson, Director, Aviation Environment Federation
Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
Pamela Campos, Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund

Within U.S.: 800-681-1608
International callers: +1 303-223-4376
A recording of the conference will be available, please contact Jennifer Andreassen for more information:

United/ Continental and American Airlines and their trade group are suing in the European Court of Justice to block a new law that holds airlines accountable for their global warming pollution resulting from flights to, from and within the European Union. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

United/ Continental and American Airlines have also been lobbying the U.S. Congress to unilaterally declare the EU law invalid. Last week at talks with the European Union on aviation, the Obama administration asked the EU to exempt U.S. airlines from the law.

The airlines have also been criticized by environmental groups for working to gut the anti-pollution program while simultaneously bragging about their environmental performances.

The oral argument will be held Tuesday, July 5th in Luxembourg before a 15-judge panel that is Europe’s highest judicial authority, roughly comparable to the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearing is expected to last most of the day. The court will then deliberate; an Advocate General is expected to issue an advisory memorandum in approximately two months, with the full court’s decision coming later.