The inclusion of aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is under increasing pressure from North American, Russian, and Chinese lobby groups, airlines, and governments. Launched in response to the anticipated additional costs to airlines, the extent and level of these challenges is considerable. The US airlines estimate an additional cost burden on industry of $1bn by 2020, while Emirates estimates between $500m to $1bn by 2020.
The inclusion of aviation in the system is already set in law, so changes to it are unlikely. It does, however, contain a provision that countries may be exempted from the scheme if they impose “equivalent measures“. So far, however, the US has not submitted any proposals for what could be considered an equivalent measure.