Seven leading European aviation companies have written to political leaders complaining about a recently introduced EU carbon tax, BBC reported. The signatories, which include Airbus, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, argue that the pollution levy threatens jobs and trade.
They are concerned about trade-related retaliation by countries not complying with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). China and the US both oppose the tax.
"The measure is threatening more than 1,000 jobs (at Airbus) and another thousand through the supply chain," Airbus CEO Thomas Enders is quoted as saying.
China is blocking orders for at least $12 billion worth of Airbus jets to protest the European Union's emissions trading fees, the plane maker said Thursday, AP reported.
Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said 35 orders by Chinese airlines for A330 planes are on hold because China's government is refusing to approve them. He said orders for another 10 A380 super jumbos are also under threat, and that the combined list prices of the aircraft is $12 billion.
Louis Gallois, CEO of Airbus parent EADS, urged the EU to reconsider the carbon pricing plan, saying that "we are worried that this conflict is becoming a commercial war."
The emissions trading system went into effect at the start of the year. Airlines flying to or from Europe must obtain certificates for carbon dioxide emissions.
They will get free credits to cover most flights this year but must buy or trade for credits to cover the rest.
The United States, China, Russia, India and many other countries are opposed and say the bloc cannot impose taxes on flights outside its own airspace.
Airlines in China have been disallowed to join the European Union's Emission Trading Schemes (ETS) that aimed to cut carbon emission since February, BBC reported. Chinese airlines have also been banned from increasing fares or adding new charges for the scheme.
ETS, implemented from Jan. 1, levies a charge on flights in EU airspaces, a practice that China and other countries such as the U.S. and Canada have severely criticized on ground of increasing costs.
(China.org.cn March 13, 2012)