The United Nations may be able to seize an opportunity — presented by mass resistance against the “carbon tax” on air travel imposed by the European Union — to extract global taxes from airline passengers, with claims that failure to adopt a worldwide taxation regime under the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) could result in a “trade war.”
The EU, which has been among the chief promoters of international taxation, announced that it was open to discussions about substituting its own scheme for a global tax. Global airlines, meanwhile, are fervently pushing the idea of a UN-brokered “solution” to the impasse, saying the disagreements could affect global air travel and lead to counterproductive retaliation by governments.
"Europe deserves credit for pushing this issue up the international agenda and it is at the forefront on emissions trading,” claimed International Air Transport Association boss Tony Tyler during a speech at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit. "But its unilateral approach must change."
In an interview with Reuters, the Director General the IATA — a lobbying group that represents over 200 airlines — alleged that the UN’s aviation arm was the “only” forum to resolve the controversy. He also said the EU would almost certainly cooperate to avoid further isolation.
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