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China objects to EU carbon tax

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, August 3, 2012
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Nations opposed to the EU's controversial carbon tax on airlines are meeting in Washington to come up with an alternative plan. China is among the countries objecting to the EU scheme. CCTV reporter Nie Jia finds out more about China's stance on the issue.

Flying to Europe might become more expensive. All carriers landing or taking off within the European Union are forced to buy a carbon emission quota under the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

Rao Xinyu, Board Secretary of Air China, said, "It is too early to say whether additional costs will be passed on to travelers. We strongly oppose this policy. We will try our best to avoid any unnecessary burden to our customers and we hope to achieve a satisfactory result."

Airlines in China are expected to pay 800 million yuan for the first year and a total of 17.6 billion yuan by 2020. But it's not just an issue of money, critics say the practice might hurt the principle of free markets.

Zhu Qingyu, Director of China Air Transport Association, said, "According to their rules, now European airlines count carbon from the point of departure. That's unfair. The EU sets carbon emission quotas through force of law. This means we have no choice but to buy what they are selling. It's against free market principles."

The Emissions Trading Scheme creates permits for carbon emissions. Airlines that exceed their allowances will have to buy extra permits, as an incentive to airlines to pollute less. The tax officially came into effect in January, but the money won't be claimed until April next year.

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