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Airlines and tar sands proxy for bigger climate battles

Source:  Copyright 2012, BBC
Date:  February 21, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

It's shaping up to be a crucial week in climate politics.

At the centre stands the EU, cast, in this guise, as climate champion - determined to take a small step towards charging airlines for the full environmental costs of flying, and to tax highly-polluting forms of fossil fuels.

Attacking the EU from every side is a large number of countries with serious clout.

At a two-day meeting in Moscow, 26 countries opposed to the EU putting aviation inside its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) are discussing a response, ranging from a formal protest through the Chicago Convention to unspecified "retaliatory measures".

There's even talk of a full-scale trade war, even though (as I've discussed before) the sums that industry might lose are trivial.

As soon as that ends on Wednesday night, the focus will shift to Thursday's European Commission meeting, where officials will debate a proposal to update the Fuel Quality Directive ...

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