China 'will not' comply with EU's aviation emission standard

-- June 07--SINGAPORE -- China will not comply with EU demands asking Chinese airlines to follow Europe's lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by joining a carbon trading system, and will take legal action at a future date against the plan...

The EU measure, which produces no direct emission reductions, is planning to set the cap based on emission data from 2006, which is "unfair" to airlines from developing countries and takes no account of the rapid development in recent years, Chai said.

The increase in costs for airlines from developing countries will be much more than for those from developed countries, he said. And the cost is likely to skyrocket to "an uncontrollable, dangerous level".

At present, it costs airlines 15 euros to buy permits for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit above a certain cap.

"But in the future when some countries need to buy a lot of permits it is possible that the price for each ton of carbon dioxide (emitted above the cap) could soar to 20, 30 or even 150 euros," Chai said. "This is dangerous, and it could be financial manipulation."

China has set a target to reduce carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. As part of that move, the country's aviation regulator asked all airline carriers to cut energy and carbon intensity by 22 percent during the same period.

In China, 33 airlines from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions are included in the list of airlines expected to participate in the EU plan. At least 16 Chinese airlines have the rights to fly to Europe, with 11 operating regular services.

Among the most affected will be Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

Li Jing in Beijing contributed to this story.

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