China welcomes proposed freezing of EU carbon tax on airlines: FM spokesman

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A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday said China approves of a possible freeze for the carbon emission tax on airlines proposed by the EU Commission.

"We have noticed a relevant official's remarks and we welcome the freeze," spokesman Hong Lei said.

The commission on Monday proposed freezing the carbon emission tax on non-EU flights for a year. Flights within the EU will still be taxed for carbon emissions.

The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) system requires all airlines flying in EU airspace to pay a tax on 15 percent of their total carbon emissions for 2012, a move that has triggered global opposition.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she agreed to stop the clock on the tax, adding that she hopes a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will result in an alternative global agreement to tackle airline emissions.

If negotiators fail to reach a consensus after one year, the charges could be reimposed immediately, she said.

Hong said China believes that the international community should deal with climate change through multilateral mechanisms, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in accordance with the principles and rules of the convention.

However, Hong stressed that China will not accept the EU Commission's attempts to link its unilateral policy with global processes.

He added that China will continue to work with all countries to actively deal with climate change through multilateral mechanisms, such as the UN convention and the ICAO. Endi

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