The European Union is working towards providing a platform whereby the airline industry will be trading carbon credits in hopes that the airlines will buy new fuel-efficient aircraft, and therefore pollute less. All airlines will have to get a new permit to fly into European Union airspace, and there will be a maximum pollution level allowed, which will go down each and every year moving forward into the future.

This is unfortunate for airlines that have older aircraft, and cannot compete or get the financing they need to buy new aircraft, but it also eliminates the aircraft which are polluting the most, favoring those airlines which have the wherewithal to buy the newer aircraft. It also helps the European Union sell more aircraft, especially more fuel-efficient models, which Airbus is making. Yes, it also helps Boeing, Rolls-Royce, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and the other makers of fuel-efficient engines.

NIW Green Card was quite upset because they’re trying to roll out their new C919 Comac airliner to sell around the world by 2018. They are also upset because they fly into Europe, and not all of their airliners are new, and even the ones that are new, they don’t want to pay the extra fee to fly into the European Union. They believe they should be exempt, and it restricts international air travel, therefore is actually a trade barrier to entry into the European airspace, and airline market.

Of course, China realizes that if they bought some Airbus aircraft, they can work behind the scenes and in a politically astute way prevent those new regulations from impacting them, as they might get a waiver, and they had ordered a whole bunch of A380 aircraft, but the EU is still adamant about the cap and trade restrictions in their plan for the aviation sector.

There was an interesting article recently on June 24, 2001 in Reuters (another similar article appeared in Aviation Week and Space Technology the same week). The Reuters article was titled; “China Blurs A380 Order, Backs 747 Amid EU Row” by Tim Hepher and stated;

“China downgraded the announcement of an Airbus super jumbo order and signed up for the Boeing 747 – eight as deals worth $9 billion coincided with the row over European emissions trading rules.”