Chai Haibo of the China Air Transport Association has announced that China’s biggest airlines will refuse to pay a new European Union tax on carbon emissions, the BBC reports.“The CATA, on behalf of Chinese airlines, is strongly against the EU’s improper practice of unilaterally forcing international airlines into its ETS,” Haibo said today.
China’s Foreign Ministry also announced they oppose the plans, Reuters reports.
On January 1, the EU brought airlines under its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which adds charges based on carbon emissions onto flight costs. If airlines are found to be flouting the rules, they face hefty fines or even a ban from EU airspace.
The scheme is one of the pillars of the European carbon policy, and was implemented in most areas in 2005. However the airline industry has been resistant, and Fitch Ratings warned last month that “will pose growing threats to aviation market access”.
Critics in China have accused the EU of starting a “trade war”, and in the US there is draft legislation prepared that would make it illegal for American airlines to comply with the law.
The EU has repeatedly announced they will not back down from the law, though other negotiations may be allowed to enable other forms of carbon reduction.
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