China says it opposes EU airline emissions charges

China Thursday joined Washington in opposing a plan by the European Union to impose carbon emissions charges on all airlines in its airspace from January 1, warning it risked sparking a trade war.

The comments from China's foreign ministry and official media came after the European Union's highest court threw out a bid by US and Canadian airlines to block the scheme, triggering an angry response from Washington.

"We oppose the unilateral legislation imposed by the EU," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.

"We hope the European side will be prudent and practical, and deal with this issue appropriately through consultation with relevant parties including China."

A commentary by the official Xinhua news agency warned the EU scheme "infringes on national sovereignty, violates international aviation treaties and will lead to a trade war" in the sector.

"The EU's plan is unfair as it lacks international recognition and support of the law, and also ignores efforts by other countries, especially developing countries, to tackle aviation emissions," Xinhua said.

Airlines around the world have denounced the EU plan to charge them for carbon emissions, warning it would cost the industry 17.5 billion euros ($23.8 billion) over eight years.

China has said it fears its aviation sector will have to pay an additional 800 million yuan (about $125 million) a year on flights originating or landing in Europe, and that the cost could be almost four times higher by 2020.

Under the EU scheme, airlines would have to pay for 15 percent of the polluting rights accorded to them in 2012, the figure then rising to 18 percent between 2013 and 2020.

The tax would affect all of China's major airlines -- including Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, the China Air Transport Association (CATA) previously told AFP.

A spokesman for CATA declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

China reportedly blocked an order by Hong Kong Airlines for billions of euros' worth of Airbus aircraft earlier this year in retaliation for the EU move, underscoring the potential for a significant trade row.

State media on Thursday quoted CATA deputy secretary Chai Haibo saying he had urged government agencies to take "trade countermeasures" against the European Union.

The US airlines association that brought the case before the European Court of Justice said it would mull further action in the English High Court, but meanwhile would comply with the European Union -- though "under protest".

North American carriers argued the decision was discriminatory and amounted to a backdoor tax.

But the court ruled that the European Union's approach was valid, and that it "infringes neither the principles of customary international law at issue nor the Open Skies Agreement" covering trans-Atlantic flights.

The decision was welcomed by the European Union, which told US airlines to get ready to obey the law in the same way European companies respect American regulations.

The threat of knock-on effects hung in the air, however, after a warning by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of possible reprisals some days ago.

The judgment "risks unleashing a trade war between Europe and the United States", a high-ranking aviation source told AFP.

The European Commission said after the ruling that the Emissions Trading System would come into force as scheduled.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 12 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 13 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 20 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.