IATA is the industry`s lawyer and advisor in legal affairs, including industry procedures and practices. It also coordinates industrial and group disputes and represents the interests of members with regard to international contracts and agreements. In 2012, the EU extended its ETS (Directive 2003/87/EC) to civil aviation through an Air Transport Directive. However, this controversial measure resulted in considerable support from third countries and industry groups, which ultimately led the EU to “set the clock” of the Air Transport Directive and limit its scope to flights within the EEA in order to wait for “the implementation of an international agreement on the application of an internal market measure based on the global market by 2020”. In 2013, ICAO responded to EU pressure by accepting a global MBM for aviation emissions (Resolution A38-18), while opting for compensation for the interests of the aviation industry instead of a cap-and-trade system. This effectively outsources actual reduction efforts to other climate projects and has been criticized by environmental groups for not addressing the central problem, a representative of the International Council on Clean Transportation said that “[i]n must decarbonize airlines in the long run, not pay others to do it for them.” The IATA Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE) is a central marketplace for CORSIA-capable emission units, where airlines and other aviation stakeholders can negotiate CO2 emission reductions for compliance or voluntary offsetting purposes. Ace is a safe and easy-to-use business environment and offers the greatest transparency in terms of price and availability of emission reductions. Airlines acting on ACE benefit from IATA Settlement Systems and the Clearing House for transparent and risk-free management of funds. The Exchange is open to all airlines, IATA members and non-IATA members and is also accessible to carbon market participants who wish to list CORSIA-compliant emission reductions. However, a closer look at the Commission`s proposal shows that the EU is not prepared to leave its full influence on ICAO`s political development.
Instead of committing to definitive amendments, the Commission proposes “a further assessment and revision of the post-2020 ETS”, “as there is more clarity on the nature and content of the legal instruments adopted by ICAO for the implementation of the GMBM, as well as on the intentions of our international partners with regard to the implementation of the GMBM”.