The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has heard a defence of the Directive integrating international aviation into the EU emissions trading system (EU-ETS), from the European Union, six Member States including the UK, and an international coalition of environmental organisations.
The coalition of environmental organisations (which consisted of two US-based organisations, the Environmental Defense Fund and Earthjustice, as well as Europe-based WWF-UK, the European Federation for Transport & Environment, and the Aviation Environment Federation), intervened a judicial review brought by several US airlines – United, Continental and American – and their trade association, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), in order to defend Europe’s right to tackle carbon emissions from aircraft that fly into and out of Europe. The European Court of Justice, on a preliminary reference from the High Court, heard arguments on 5 July on whether the Directive was compatible with public international law.
The Advocate General will deliver her opinion on the case on 6 October 2011, with a final judgment of the Court to follow at a later date.
The environmental groups are represented by Jon Turner QC and Laura Elizabeth John.