EU Retreats on Airline Emissions Plan
Feb. 10, 2012, Berlin, Ger. - The European Union could suspend parts of a new law requiring airlines to account for their greenhouse gas emissions if countries were to make clear progress this year toward establishing a global emissions control system.
The move comes a day after China announced that its carriers would be forbidden to pay any charges under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) without Beijing’s permission. "China will consider taking necessary steps in accordance with the way things develop to protect the rights of our nationals and our companies," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU's aviation emissions trading scheme will meet in Moscow on Feb. 21 to discuss a plan of action. Under the scheme, airlines that do not comply may face European fines of 100 euros ($130) for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted for which they have not surrendered allowances. In the case of persistent offenders, the EU has the right to ban airlines from its airports.
The European Union's executive body has said talks were ongoing with various nations to try to settle disagreements and that it was confident the scheme, which is a mainstay of its efforts to tackle climate change, would survive.