Chinese airlines have underlined their opposition of the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, at the 68th IATA Annual General Meeting, currently being held in Beijing. Wang Changshun, chairman of Air China Ltd, said on Monday that Air China will continue to follow the government's policy of fighting the emissions-trading scheme. "Air China will not participate in the EU's emission scheme," Wang said. According to industry estimates, following the ETS standards will cost China's aviation industry 790 million yuan ($124 million) this year and an estimated 3.7 billion yuan in 2020, said Wang. "The scheme will result in growing costs for air carriers and these costs will be transferred to passengers," he said. He said the government and airlines always pay attention to cutting carbon emissions, and there are several ways other than levying a tax. Liu Shaoyong, president and chairman of China Eastern Airlines, insisted his carrier also remained in line with the government's stance. The Civil Aviation Administration of China independently issued an order in February forbidding Chinese airlines from abiding by the ETS. Eight Chinese airlines, along with two of their Indian counterparts, are still to submit any carbon emission data from last year to the EU, whereas 1,200 carriers across the world are reported to have already handed over details, EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said on May 16. The EU has said it will impose penalties on airlines if they do not report the data by mid-June and they could face fines or even be banned from flying to Europe, according to industry insiders. However, the Chinese airlines have received support from within the international industry. "I think it's a good thing that China's response to the ETS has been strong, mandating its carriers not to be a part (of the scheme)," said Tony Tyler, CEO of the International Air Transport Association. IATA has also reiterated its call for a comprehensive global solution on aviation emissions to be negotiated through the International Civil Aviation Organization. The international air transport industry is committed to three goals to manage its estimated 2 percent share of global man-made carbon emissions. To meet the targets, they will need a globally agreed approach covering technology, operations and infrastructure, as well as other "positive market-based measures", said Tyler. However, he added that the EU's unilateral and extra-territorial inclusion of international aviation in its emission-trading scheme is creating discord when it needs harmony. The ICAO is currently working on options for a single global market-based measure for international aviation. Liu from China Eastern said a global agreement could be reached on the issue next year through the ICAO. Source: China Daily, Wang Wen and Wang Zhuoqiong
Gravity always wins!
On the face of it the EU Emissions Trading Scheme appears to be completely irrational, given the harsh economic times. Now is not the time to save the enviroment, although I am a skeptic of climate change (Greenland was named green for a reason, even though it is now covered in snow and ice now, but that was not always the case!) I am however all for cleaner air, water and land, and I believe technology will come to the rescue as always, but I digress.
For one thing the EU ETS will not alter the climate back to some pristine state, as another El Ninio Cycle rears it's ugly head. Further more the EU is targetting the wrong transport sector. In the UK alone Aviation only accounts for 2 percent of Carbon Emissions, with cars and trucks providing 20 percent.
The reason I say on the face of it, is that the EU's real motive for pursuing the EU ETS is to provoke a response, especially from China. So far so good. China has stated it will refuse to pay the Tax and further more will impound EU aircraft. The EU will then respond in kind by banning Chinese products, starting a Trade War. The upside of all this for the EU is that it will provide increased buisness to local industries, hard hit by the economic downturn, but more importantly provide protection against China's exports and products which are produced more cheaply on account of China's econmies of scale. Lastly it will keep money inside the EU and not flowing out to China.
The downside of a Trade War with China, of which there are many, is the impact it will have on Airbus and EADS, with cancellation of Chinese orders, but this may be a small price to pay, and hay guess what, less polluted skies to boot.
The greatest irony is that the GFC of 2008 has done more to curb any upward Carbon Emission trends and who do we have to thank for that. The USA, EU and UK INC