WTTC: Europe right and wrong on emissions trading
"A very unexpected but very welcome development, which may now temporarily prevent a full scale trade war" is the response of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President & CEO, David Scowsill, to the European Union's decision to postpone the full introduction of its emissions trading scheme (ETS). WTTC has long argued that a market-based global mechanism is the best way for aviation to balance its huge economic and social contribution with its impact on climate change.
The European decision to open up its skies to foreign airlines conveys the message that aviation is truly a global industry sector and therefore a global solution has always been considered the most desirable and logical way to avoid unnecessary regional distortions.
Although there are differing opinions from European airlines regarding the freeze on the policy implementation, the market will grow competitively and therefore the Travel & Tourism industry will see more jobs and multiplier effects. WTTC supports the global role to be played by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and believes the process should be allowed to run its course towards establishing a global market-based mechanism to manage carbon emissions.
David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said "The EU has taken two steps forward and one step back on emissions trading. It has recognised that it must not go it alone on emissions trading and the one-year standstill on the global scheme is both unexpected and welcome. However, the decision to retain ETS for intra-European aviation is illogical and possibly counter-productive. It is apparent that the original imposition of the emission trading scheme brought the world close to a trade war on this issue, with governments enacting legislation to forbid their national airlines to comply. The pressure is now on government to deliver a solution through ICAO, before the industry faces another heated debate, deterring barriers for growth in this important global industry."
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The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. WTTC"s annual Global Summit brings together over 1,000 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry"s power to be a positive force in sustainability.
The sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. In 2014, Travel & Tourism generated 9.8% of global GDP, some $7.6 trillion, and supported almost 277 million jobs, or 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By the end of 2015, Travel & Tourism is expected to contribute US$7,860 trillion, 10% of global GDP, and to account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment.
For almost 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world"s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses. These Members bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, raising awareness of the importance of the industry as an economic generator of prosperity.