Tuesday

30th Aug 2016

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EuridThe 2016 .eu Web Awards is a Chance to Make Dreams Come True so Vote Today !
  2. Nordic CouncilNordic-Baltic Co-operation Vital in Turbulent Times
  3. GoogleBrussels: Home of Beer, Fries, Chocolate and Google’s Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  4. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students to China for ICT Training
  5. EFASpain is Not a Democratic State. EFA Expresses Solidarity to A. Otegi and EH Bildu
  6. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  7. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  8. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  9. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Applies Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  10. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  11. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  12. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER

Latest News

  1. Verheugen did not think VW cheating was morally possible
  2. Greece and EU to tackle labour market reform
  3. EU's €13bn tax decision angers Ireland, US, and Apple
  4. EU and US continue trade talks despite French criticism
  5. UK cannot have and eat EU cake
  6. Apple ordered to repay a record €13 billion to Ireland
  7. End in sight for EU-Poland dispute, says deputy PM
  8. Turkey pledges loyalty to EU and Nato