China Calls On EU To Drop Airline ETS

February 23, 2012

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China on Thursday called on the European Union to drop its plan to levy fees on airline carbon emissions, a scheme that has drawn the ire of several countries, including the United States and India.

"Implementing this system will not only distort competition, distort the airline industry's development and create a financial burden for travellers, it will also damage the trust that is the foundation of the global response to climate change," the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on its website.

Earlier this month, Beijing banned Chinese airlines from joining the programme, which levies charges for carbon emissions from flights to, from and within Europe, without its permission.

Foreign governments argue the EU is exceeding its legal jurisdiction by calculating the carbon cost over the whole flight, not just Europe.

The European Commission says the scheme is needed to tackle growing aviation emissions as part of a global fight against climate change.

Under the plan, airlines that do not comply may face European fines of EUR€100 (USD$130) for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted for which they have not surrendered allowances. In the case of persistent offenders, the EU has the right to ban airlines from its airports.