Beijing denounces airline carbon tax, asks for talks
By Michael Martina and Alison Leung, ReutersBEIJING/HONG KONG -- China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.
January 6, 2012, 12:21 am TWN
“China opposes the European Union's unilateral legislation. China has expressed to the EU our deep concern and opposition many times on a bilateral level,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
“We hope the EU can take careful precautions with a cautious and practical attitude, and regarding those aspects involving China, appropriately discuss and handle this matter,” Hong told reporters during a regular briefing. The EU's carbon trading scheme was launched in 2005 as one of the pillars of Europe's efforts to combat climate change.
Following a December ruling from Europe's highest court that inclusion of airlines in the ETS was valid, China's official Xinhua news agency warned of a trade war.
Spokesman Hong said other countries had taken an equally negative view.
The United States has also raised the prospect of retaliation, while a draft law in the U.S. Congress proposes to make it illegal to comply with the EU law.