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China orders airlines not to pay Europe for carbon emissions

A month after a regime of emissions charges took effect in the EU, China takes a confrontational stance, forbidding its air carriers from making any payments for carbon output.

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A man cycles as an airliner flies over head into Hongqiao International airport in Shanghai on Jan 5. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s air carriers are formally banned from paying charges on carbon emissions imposed by the European Union, the official Xinhua news agency reported today.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, has also forbidden Chinese air carriers from raising freight costs or adding other fees without official permission, Xinhua reported.

More from GlobalPost: Chinese airlines refuse to pay EU carbon tax

The EU Emissions Trading System took effect for airlines on Jan 1 and Xinhua said an estimated 4,000 air carriers would have to pay charges under the scheme. According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, two dozen other countries, including the U.S., Russia and India also object to the charges.

In a statement carried by Xinua, CAAC said the recent EU decision to impose a charge on carriers operating flights to and from European airports was contrary to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"China objects to the EU's decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines, and has expressed its concerns over the scheme through various channels," the statement said, according to Xinhua. "China will consider adopting necessary measures to protect interests of Chinese individuals and companies, pending the development of the issue.”

AFP said the China Air Transport Association said last month the government was considering “countermeasures” but did not offer details.

More from GlobalPost: China joins US in opposing EU carbon tax on airlines

According to AFP, the EU decided to include airlines in its 2005 emissions scheme due to the absence of a global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Airlines that refuse to comply could be fined or even denied the right to land in the EU.

Reuters reported that any airline that does not comply with the rules faces fines of 100 euros, or $131.25 at current rates, for each ton of carbon emissions on which the carrier has not paid charges.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120205/china-orders-airlines-not-pay-europe-carbon-emission