Release #11.39
December 22, 2011

EU Emissions Trading Scheme: Off Course to Cut Emissions
ICAO Should Lead International Aviation in Reducing Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON – Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement regarding the announcement of the European Court of Justice ruling in support of the European Union’s unilateral attempt to illegally tax U.S. airlines through an Emissions Trading Scheme.

“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), adamantly opposes the European Union’s (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and its illegal attempt to unilaterally impose an additional tax on U.S. airlines that fly to or from the European Union. This week’s European Court of Justice ruling in favor of the EU’s unilateral action comes as no surprise, and it does not change the fact that the scheme is an affront to customary international law and protocols, dismisses the tremendous advancements that international aviation has made in reducing emissions, and raises the specter of placing a severe economic burden on U.S. airlines.

“Given the fact that commercial aviation is a $1.3 trillion economic engine that employs 11 million people in the United States, the financial penalties exacted under the EU’s scheme could mean billions of dollars in additional cost for U.S. airlines. Moreover, the money that is collected could be funneled to other countries’ treasuries with no guarantee that the funds would actually help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The true solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation lies in leveraging new technology, developing and using sustainable fuels, and flying more efficient operations, combined with the global aviation community working together at the International Civil Aviation Organization on a comprehensive set of goals and actions, including developing a meaningful CO2 emissions standard.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


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