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China Opposes EU Emissions Tax

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

28 November 2012

The European Union's (EU) tax on non-EU international airlines for their carbon emissions has once again come under fire from China.

China's chief negotiator to the ongoing United Nations climate change talks, Xie Zhenhua, has said that while China opposes the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), it is willing to seek a solution.

Xie Zhenhua, who also serves as deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), added that the ETS is opposed by most non-EU countries because it fails to comply with relevant international rules and conventions.

The ETS was extended to aviation activities from or to European soil in January. Airlines operating into and out of the EU were thus required to surrender varying emission allowances and to purchase any additional permits outside of their free allowance.

However, earlier this month the EU announced that it would defer the international aspects of the ETS for aviation for one year. This would allow the International Civil Aviation Organization to develop a globally-agreed market-based mechanism to tax the emissions of the aviation sector.

Xie Zhenhua said that when the Doha climate conference concludes, China will take part in round table negotiations with the aim of cutting emissions in the aviation sector. He is likely to table proposals to this end, he explained.

TAGS: environment | tax | aviation | China | environmental tax | agreements | carbon tax | European Union (EU) | Europe

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