Although trucking organizations like the ATA are challenging the new rule, Osiecki suggests that carriers should plan and prepare for compliance, should the latest HOS rule become effective on July 1.
In the meantime, the trucking industry should expect to see regulations mandating the use of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) on the horizon.
Furthermore, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) EOBR legislation, which was signed into law July 6, 2012, requires the FMCSA to issue a final rule for the mandate by July 2013. The effective date of the mandate – two years after the issuance of the final rule – is set for July 2015.
Changes for the aviation sector
Last November, the European Commission postponed the implementation of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) due to various issues and oppositions to the law. The EU ETS, which planned to place a cap on the total amount of emissions that can be emitted by all flights to and from Europe, is said to encroach on the sovereignty of other countries’ airspace.
“During the summer, 17 nations met in Washington, D.C. to discuss steps to address international aviation emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” notes Perry Flint, head of corporate communications, the Americas, for the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “They reaffirmed their continued strong opposition to the EU’s unilateral and extra-territorial inclusion of international aviation in the EU ETS.”
Accidental overlap of similar emission schemes along with the possibility of airlines getting double-taxed for the same emissions is also adding to the delay in implementation.
Some in the industry contend that a regulation like the EU ETS is important to the aviation sector as a mechanism for promoting energy efficient and lowering the cost of aviation fuel. According to Isaac Valero-Ladron, spokesman of the European Commission for climate action, by 2020 global international aviation emissions are projected to be approximately 70 percent higher than those in 2005—even if fuel efficiency improves by 2 percent each year.
“ICAO forecasts that by 2050 they could grow by a further 300 to 700 percent,” warns Valero-Ladron. “The large majority of these emissions come from international flights. By including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System, it is forecast we could save around 176 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the period up to 2015.”
Since the EU ETS has been put on hold, the ICAO will need to take time to articulate an alternative solution and generate a global agreement that will be practical for the aviation sector. The final decision will take place at the next ICAO Assembly in September.
“There’s not much that the food logistics people will need to do at this stage,” says Haldane Dodd, head of communications for Geneva, Switzerland-based Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). “But we’re certainly hoping for some significant progress at that meeting and hopefully at that point the Europeans will say we don’t need to do what we did with the emissions trading scheme for all external flights—we can have a global measurement to put in place.”