Wednesday

26th Apr 2017

Focus

China joins US in battle against EU carbon rules for airlines

  • A snapshot of skies over the EU on Thursday morning, from the real-time tracking website flightradar24.com (Photo: flightradar24.com)

China has joined the US in looking for ways to get out of the EU's upcoming CO2 cap-and-trade regime for foreign airlines flying in and out of the union.

A senior Chinese official speaking at an aviation forum in Beijing on Wednesday (11 May) said its airlines should get special treatment because China is still a relatively poor country.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The EU needs to take into account the different situations of developing and developed countries ... So far they are insisting on carrying on with the plan," the chief of China's Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Li Jiaxiang, said according to Reuters.

European Commission climate spokesman Isaac Valero-Ladron told Bloomberg the same day that China has applied for an exemption because it has plans to offset its planes' CO2 emissions in Europe with carbon cuts at home.

For his part, the chairman of China's airline trade lobby, the China Aviation Transport Association, Liu Shaoyang, said his body is "ready to sue the EU at any time ... All the Chinese airlines are against this plan - it is not legally binding and it is only useful in Europe."

From 1 January 2012 all airlines flying in and out of the EU as well as all internal carriers will have to cut emissions down to fit new quotas or purchase bigger quotas in the framework of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The US is also a long-standing opponent of the plan, with American airlines battling the decision through international courts.

The EU opted to include non-EU airlines on environmental grounds but also in order not to give third countries' carriers a competitive advantage over soon-to-be-quota-bound EU businesses.

China's CAAC estimates the scheme will cost its airlines some €85 million in 2012 and €320 million a year by 2020.

Consulting firm RDC Aviation in a report in January said airlines inside the EU put 171 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, slightly up on 2009, but still below levels of 176 million tonnes seen before the economic crisis struck in mid-2008.

Air China alone accounted for 1.2 million tonnes, up 13 percent on 2009.

A long-term forecast published also in January by the Brussels-based air-traffic body, Eurocontrol, said the number of flights in Europe is set to almost double to 16.9 million a year by 2030.

EU and US heading towards trade war over airplane emissions

The US is heading towards a trade war with the EU over greenhouse gas charges for airlines flying into Europe, after the House of Representatives rejected the obligation for American carriers to comply with EU law.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

News in Brief

  1. EU parliament moves to lift Le Pen's immunity
  2. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's university law
  3. Scots slowly losing appetite for independence - poll
  4. Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list
  5. EU to put parental leave on political agenda
  6. Israel cancels German meeting over human rights groups
  7. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  8. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. Brexit is about Europe's future as well
  2. Power struggle in Greenland: Three reasons why the EU should care
  3. Nordic and Baltic countries step up digitalisation efforts
  4. European states still top media freedom list
  5. Let’s not put European public health at risk
  6. Threatened Budapest university calls for EU support
  7. Orban set to face down EU threats
  8. Dont expect 'quick fix' in Syria, China tells EU