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China welcomes EU move to suspend aviation’s inclusion in ETS

ATWonline.com by Katie Cantle | November 13, 2012

The China Air Transport Assn. (CATA) has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) decision to suspend its Emissions Trading System (ETS) for flights into and out of Europe for one year to allow time for ICAO to finalize a global scheme (ATW Daily News, Nov. 12). CATA deputy secretary general Chai Haibo called the decision a “sensible choice.”

“EU’s ETS development showed that it started to move from unilateral action to a global solution through ICAO’s multilateral negotiations. China will take an active part in ICAO’s negotiations to address the aviation carbon emission issue and, hopefully, ICAO can develop a global system to tackle airlines’ carbon emissions [by its next general assembly in September 2013],” Chai said.

The Assn. of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has given a “cautious welcome” to the ETS development. “In making this long overdue move, the EU has finally bowed to the inevitable—in effect acknowledging that it cannot unilaterally impose the scheme on non-EU airlines without the consent of other governments,” AAPA DG Andrew Herdman said (ATW Daily News, Oct. 29).

China is among the countries that voiced the strongest opposition against EU ETS.

In February, the Chinese government’s state council issued a statement prohibiting Chinese carriers from participating in EU ETS without government approval (ATW Daily News, Feb. 21).

In addition, China also threatened to launch a possible trade war against EU ETS following reports that Hainan Airlines threatened to cancel an order for 10 Airbus A380s for its Hong Kong Airlines subsidiary (ATW Daily News, Aug. 16). In addition, China’s opposition to the EU ETS prevented Lufthansa (LH) from obtaining rights to operate an Airbus A380 on its Shanghai-Frankfurt route, according to LH chairman and CEO Christoph Franz (ATW Daily News, March 21).

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