So it turns out the world can come together to face a common problem -- except it's in opposition to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions instead of for it.
All the big non-European countries -- the United States, China, Japan, Russia and India -- are signatories to the "Moscow Joint Declaration," which expresses disapproval of EU's plan to charge airlines for the carbon their planes emit flying to Europe.
The reduction is quite small -- 0.6% of world emissions -- and the cost works out to $21 per metric ton, or about $2 on a one-way ticket. But even this doesn't seem acceptable, and if this isn't, it's difficult to imagine what will.
Here are some of the particulars: the aviation industry emits 3.5% of worldwide CO2, or currently about 1,000 Mt per year. The EU's wants to reduce this by 183 Mt per year in 2020, or 46% for the planes whose landing and take-offs happen in Europe.
183 Mt is really quite small -- it's the emissions of 10.8 million Americans (in 2009). Or 36 million Chinese.
By comparison, in 2009 the World emitted 29,000 Mt from fuel consumption.
The EU is initially waiving 85% of the fees, but by 2020 it's estimated to cost airlines €2.8 billion ($3.8 billion). But I guess that can be alot to the airline industry, if they can't pass it on for reasons of competition.
But it shows how unwilling anyone is -- except the Europeans and (about half of) the Australians -- to charge for carbon emissions.