Leading China airlines plan on ignoring EU carbon tax

by William ASTON on January 9, 2012

China’s biggest airlines won’t pay the new European Union tax that aims to cut carbon emissions, according to their trade body.

Ever since 1 January, airlines travelling within the EU have had to comply with the Emissions Trading Scheme, known as ETS, which levies charges on flights depending on their carbon emissions. Representing the China Air Transport Association, Chai Haibo said that the members of the organisation would not be co-operating with the ETS. Similarly though, the EU has said that it will not back down on this issue.

CATA, the already mentioned China Air Transport Association, is representative of companies that include Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and China Southern Airlines. Any carriers that don’t comply with the EU’s new tax are subject to fines and might even be prohibited from being able to fly around the region.

In 2010, it was claimed that the scheme could end up costing Chinese airlines 95m euros in extra annual outgoings. Chai said that CATA is strongly against what it calls improper practices of forcing airlines into complying with the ETS. In response, Isaac Valero-Ladron of the EU insisted that the law will not be modified and that companies will comply as penalties are much higher for non-compliance. The EU has estimated that the prices of air tickets will rise up to anything from 2 to 12 euros per head in order to help pay for the tax.

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