The European Union (EU) is "working towards an internationally agreed global solution to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from ships," said European Commission VP Siim Kallas and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard. "We need intermediary steps to quickly deliver emissions reductions, such as energy efficiency measures also for existing ships."
The remarks come as the Senate passed its bill Sept. 29 prohibiting U.S. airlines from participating in the EU’s emissions trading scheme.
“The Senate’s action… will help ensure that U.S. air carriers and passengers will not be paying down European debt through this illegal tax and can instead be investing in creating jobs and stimulating our own economy," bill co-sponsor Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said following passage of the bill.
Changes to be bill made to please the last few Senate holdouts means the bill will have to be taken up by the House of Representatives following the November elections. The bill encourages the EU to act within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations body, to reduce greenhouse emissions.
"It's not enough to say you want it, you have to work hard to get it done," Connie Hedegaad said following the passage of the Senate bill. "That means that the U.S. needs to change its approach in ICAO and show willingness to actually seal a meaningful global deal that will facilitate action."