| WASHINGTON, Sept 17
WASHINGTON, Sept 17 The U.S. aviation industry
urged President Barack Obama on Monday to file a U.N. action to
stop the EU from forcing foreign aircraft to pay for their
carbon emissions ahead of a U.N. meeting that will try to make
progress on a multilateral solution to the ongoing aviation row.
Nineteen aviation industry groups called on the president to
initiate an Article 84 proceeding in the U.N.'s International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), whose governing council will
convene from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6.
"An Article 84 action will prompt, rather than impede,
agreement and implementation of a global framework for
addressing aviation greenhouse gas emissions," the groups,
including the U.S. airline organization Airlines for America,
wrote in their letter to Obama.
The letter said the body "has a proven track record of
efficiently handling an Article 84 dispute while simultaneously
advancing new environmental standards."
An Article 84 proceeding is a dispute mechanism available to
ICAO's 191 member states, which would give ICAO's governing
council the authority to decide on disputes that cannot be
resolved between states.
Environmental groups and ICAO's Secretary General Raymond
Benjamin have said they oppose the time-consuming action because
it could undermine efforts by the body to devise a common plan.
ICAO has been under pressure to devise a global alternative
to the European Union's carbon cap-and-trade system due to
strong opposition from the United States, China and other
nations, but the process has been slow.
It is in the process of weighing three market-based
approaches for its members to take to help them cut their
greenhouse gas emissions.
Benjamin told Reuters earlier this month that he expected
the council to have a draft plan by March 2013, rather than the
end of 2012 as had been previously thought.
The global system must approved by ICAO's 191 members at its
autumn 2013 assembly.
The U.S. aviation groups, that also included the Aerospace
Industries Association, warned that if left unchecked, the EU's
imposition of its carbon trading scheme could extend beyond just
"If this EU breach of U.S. sovereignty ... over our airspace
and international waters - goes unanswered, it almost certainly
will result in other such schemes affecting a variety of sectors
of the U.S. economy," the letter said.
Meanwhile, Congress may also put pressure on the Obama
administration this week with the possible passage of a bill
that would shield U.S. airlines from participating in the EU's
emissions trading scheme.
Last week, Republican Senator John Thune had been prepared
to put get a unanimous consent vote on the Senate floor on the
bill he co-authored with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
The senator called off the vote because some objections were
raised, a Senate aide told Reuters.
But supporters of the Thune-McCaskill bill are negotiating
compromise language to address lingering concerns, said Jean
Medina, spokesperson for Airlines for America.
She said the senators hope to secure enough votes for
passage before Senate goes into recess ahead of the November
(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)