As ACM reported last month, the EU is in danger of triggering a trade war with its demand that airlines pay an additional carbon tax when flying within its territory. Obviously thinking that opposition would crumble, the EU is standing firm. Unfortunately, however, so are the Chinese:
CHINA’S four leading airlines have thrown down the gauntlet to the European Union by saying they will refuse to pay carbon charges levied under Europe’s emissions trading scheme.
The defiant message – which could lead to a ban from European airports – marks an escalation of resistance to the scheme, which came into effect this week and is also opposed by the US.
Despite the growing threat of a trade war, Europe sees the cap-and-trade system for aviation emissions as a crucial tool for reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Since Sunday, any airline using an airport in the EU has been obliged to participate.
But China’s leading aviation body said it would not.
”China will not co-operate with the European Union on the ETS, so Chinese airlines will not impose surcharges on customers relating to the emissions tax,” said the deputy secretary-general of the China Air Transport Association, Cai Haibo.
The association represents Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, which fly millions of passengers to Europe each year. (source)
Legal action is being considered. Watch this space.