On July 16, 2013, The European Institute welcomed The Honorable Peter Liese, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for inclusion of aviation in the ETS, The Honorable Julie Oettinger, Assistant Administrator for Policy at the Federal Aviation Administration, and John Schmitz, Partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP, to discuss the future of global regulation of aviation emissions. The panelists discussed the contested extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme to the aviation sector by the European Union and the prospects for reaching agreement on a global framework at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s plenary meeting this September. The discussion was moderated by Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund.

On December 13, 2012, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Portugal, held a seminar on the opportunities for greater transatlantic cooperation on blue growth, as both sides of the Atlantic seek to make the most of economic and innovation opportunities offered by the oceans. The transatlantic implications of the Panama Canal's expansion on U.S. and European maritime infrastructure,shipping sectors and global trade were also examined. Speakers included: Professor Manuel Pinto Abreu, Portugal’s Secretary of State of Sea; Tommy Beaudreau, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior; Dr. David Conover, Director, Division of Ocean Science at the National Science Foundation; Greg Edwards, Director of External Affairs at the Virginia Port Authority; Yvette Fields, Director of Deepwater Ports and Offshore Activities, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; Arthur Moye, Executive Vice President of the Virginia Maritime Association; Lidia Sequeira, President of Portugal’s Port of Sines; and The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, Co-Chair of the Oceans Caucus in the United States Senate. Dr. Wayne Talley, Economics Professor and Executive Director, International Maritime, Ports and Logistics Management Institute at Old Dominion University moderated the discussion.

By Zachary Laven, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

In the tug-of-war over new EU rules levying carbon taxes on airlines’ flights, the U.S. has signaled for the first time that failure to change or at least postpone the European plan could hold up future progress on global climate-change talks.

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On April 17th, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Latvia and the Embassy of the Russian Federation, held a breakfast discussion on the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and its potential transformation into a key economic and commercial transcontinental corridor.  Panel speakers, including Aivis Ronis, Latvian Minister of Transportation; Oleg Stepanov, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Russian Federation; Antonio de Lecea, Principal Adviser at the Delegation of the European Union; The Honorable Robert Hormats, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; and Susan Kurland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation, offered their perspectives on current efforts to shift the NDN from a military logistics system into a viable commercial link between Afghanistan and the international community.  Beyond economic benefits, the panel speakers indicated that the harmonization of regional attitudes, as well as transnational movement of ideas, promise to be products of this ongoing process to establish a “modern Silk Road.”

Fresh on the heels of the announcement last week that China was threatening to cancel orders for 9 billion euros worth of orders for Airbus jetliners, seven of Europe’s leading aviation companies have joined forces this week to formally oppose the European Union’s tax on airline emissions designed to combat global warming.

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