Chinese Airlines Join U.S. in Opposition to EU Cap-and-Trade Program

China’s commercial airlines – like their U.S. rivals – are opposed to joining the European Union’s cap-and-trade program, called the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), in 2012.

Beginning next year, the EU will require all airlines flying in and out of Europe to participate in the region’s cap-and-trade program for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Doing so is expected to increase industry-wide costs by $1.4-$2 billion and lead to higher ticket prices.

The China Air Transport Association (CATA) says it’s opposed to the EU imposing higher costs on airlines. The Association says it will ask the Beijing government to propose countermeasures against European airlines, unless the European Commission adjusts its plan.

Chinese government officials have already stated their objections to the European commission. 

The Air Transport Association of America, which represents U.S. airlines, is currently challenging the European plan in EU courts.

EU officials want to maintain an even playing field for their domestic airlines. And, they argue that years of UN negotiations have been unsuccessful in curbing emissions from aviation.

One of Europe’s largest airlines, Lufthansa, voluntarily began trading carbon emissions last month.

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Comments on “Chinese Airlines Join U.S. in Opposition to EU Cap-and-Trade Program”

  1. Jeff Gazzard

    European and Chinese airline CEO’s are in lock-step on the threat to retaliate if charged a few euros per passenger when aviation’s inclusion in the European ETS comes into force.

    China’s air passengers flying into Europe will be Government officials and businessmen plus a growing number of affluent middle class tourists – even the Peoples Republic has a bourgeoisie nowadays! With a likely charge of around €20 or less per passenger return trip under the ETS – and Europe’s airlines flying to China facing the same pollution price tag for the same journey – the impact on demand is frankly non-existent despite the millions of Yuan total currently being bandied about. It’s the cost per passenger that counts. This is tiny, tiny, tiny and will be passed on fully to passengers, the embodiment of the “polluter pays” principle.

    All airline CEOs are simply attempting to undermine the ETS at each and every opportunity. Global scheme? Don’t make me laugh – just rearrange these words into a well-known phrase or saying: ball, grass kick, long! If airlines ARE serious about a global ETS then they should all be lobbying for the European scheme as the model.

    Europe’s Climate Action Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, is right to stand up to the Airbus CEO, Tom Enders, who makes similar claims and the Chinese and Willie Walsh – Ms. Hedegaard has our total support and admiration.

    If an increasing number of the Chinese population can afford the cost of a return trip to Europe they can also afford the cost of carbon. As can the Russians. And America’s frequent flyers. And all of BA/Iberia’s passengers. It’s that simple.

    Jeffrey Gazzard
    Board Member
    Aviation Environment Federation


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