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Chinese airlines refuse to pay under the ETS 6th January, 2012  

The EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) has now come into force for the aviation industry, however the four main Chinese carriers have refused to participate.

From January 1, airlines using any airport in the European Union are liable to pay carbon charges as the EU aims to reduce emissions in the industry however many airlines based outside of Europe are opposed to the scheme.

Airlines will receive free credits for a certain amount of their emissions, but must buy or trade credits to cover the rest which could increase costs per passenger by between €2 and €12. Those airlines that refuse to comply will be liable for fines and could even be banned from using airports in Europe.

The Air Transport Association of America contested the rules before Christmas, but the European Court of Justice ruled that the scheme did not infringe on the sovereignty of non-EU countries and without any international rules put in place the EU was within its rights to implement the scheme.

American airlines have agreed to accept the rules whilst pursuing other legal options however the association that represents Chinese airlines has refused to comply.

A spokesperson for the China Air Transport Association (CATA) said: “China, of course, will not cooperate with the European Union on the ETS. The CATA, on behalf of Chinese airlines, is strongly against the EU’s improper practice of unilaterally forcing international airlines into its ETS.”

Although the scheme has come into force carbon fees do not have to be paid until March 2013, so it may be resolved before any fines or flight bans are put into force. The EU hopes that the scheme will encourage airlines to become efficient and reduce their business carbon footprint to combat climate change.

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About The Author

Thomas Ridgley

Thomas Ridgley

Thomas is one of Apollo Enviro's in-house environmental consultants and has developed an extensive knowledge of the environment industry. He often writes posts for the blog. Connect with Thomas on Google+.