“The Coalition of the Unwilling”
The EU’s “Emissions Trading Scheme” (ETS) is one of a number of measures adopted by the EU to “fight climate change”. It is part of a massive, complex array of confusing and overlapping green initiatives which have piled cost, complexity and bureaucracy onto European industries, and have spawned a new army of lobbyists. It is rapidly making the EU a profoundly expensive and unattractive place in which to invest and to operate.
The plan was to “lead the world” in green policies, but oddly enough the world doesn’t seem to be following. So the EU has decided unilaterally to impose its ETS, not only on EU airlines, but on all airlines flying into the EU. Arguably this is an illegal violation of the Chicago convention. China certainly thinks so, along with a list of other countries, including the USA, the BRICS, Japan, Korea and so on. Most of the world, in fact.
Now these countries have formed what is being called “The Coalition of the Unwilling” to fight this unilateral move from Europe. I am delighted that they are doing so, and I have accordingly written to the Chinese Ambassador, copies to the other Ambassadors, congratulating them on their firm stance.
Dear Mr. Ambassador
Application of the EU’s ETS to airlines
I write to congratulate you on your country’s clear and principled opposition to the European Union’s quite unjustified and divisive attempt to impose its Emissions Trading Scheme charges unilaterally on the airlines of other nations, including China. I extend my congratulations also to those other countries, including the USA, Japan, Russia, India and Brazil which have allied themselves to China’s position in what is being aptly called “A Coalition of the Unwilling”.
The EU has taken an aggressive approach to emissions reduction with the aim of “leading the world” on green policies. But the rest of the world seems disinclined to follow the EU’s lead, so it is seeking to impose these measures unilaterally. I am also very concerned by calls in the EU institutions for “green import duties” on products deemed to have been manufactured to inadequate environmental standards.
The EU’s policies are disastrous in economic terms, and increasingly difficult to justify in environmental terms either. If the EU had set out to deter investment, and to drive industry and jobs out of Europe altogether, it could hardly have done better.
China’s decision to take a tough line on this issue is right not only for China and those countries associated with your initiative: it is also salutary for the EU itself, which may now have the opportunity to pause and reflect, and to reconsider its rash and foolhardy plans.
I have no doubt at all that your clear and principled stand will in the medium term benefit Europe; that it will benefit my own country the UK; and that it will benefit the constituents whom I, as a Member of the European parliament, represent. I thank you for it, and I urge you to continue to take a firm and robust line on the issue.
ROGER HELMER MEP
Copies to the Ambassadors of the USA; Japan; Russia; Brazil; India; Korea; Saudi Arabia; South Africa