News / Asia

    China Says It Won’t Pay EU Air Tax

    An Air China plane on the tarmac of the Beijing Capital International Airport (File)
    An Air China plane on the tarmac of the Beijing Capital International Airport (File)
    Dominic Laurie

    China’s largest airlines could soon be prevented from flying to European airports after their trade agency said they wouldn’t pay a new EU emissions tax. On New Year’s Day, the 27-  country bloc began levying a carbon tax on flights landing or taking off at their airports. Airlines or countries who don’t comply can be fined - or even banned from flying into the EU.

    The European Union has long seen itself as leading the fight against global warming. And its emissions trading scheme - where companies have to pay a fee for the right to pollute - is the cornerstone of its policies.

    Started seven years ago, the plan only targeted the utilities and heavy industry sectors. However, from the beginning of the year, all airlines that fly into or out of an EU airport have to pay - whether those airlines are registered in Europe or not. The amounts increase over the next few years.

    The measure has faced stiff opposition from the U.S., India and elsewhere But now the agency, which represents the four main Chinese flag carriers, says it won’t pay the fees.

    The association estimates the scheme will cost Chinese airlines $120 million in the first year and more than triple that by 2020.

    China Says It Won’t Pay EU Air Tax
    China Says It Won’t Pay EU Air Tax

    Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei backed up the transport agency, saying it was concerned about what it called the EU’s “unilateral” move. It hinted it could form an alliance with other nations opposed to the plan.

    "Many countries are against the European Union's actions," he said. "We hope that Europe can take a cautious and realistic attitude and act carefully and properly consult related parties including China to resolve this issue."

    The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Fines of almost $130 for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted - and in the case of persistent offenders, the EU has the right to ban airlines from its airports.

    Thursday in Brussels, the EU’s Climate spokesman Isaac Valero-Ladron said the Commission was happy to negotiate and talk to countries that had concerned - but maintained it stood by its new law.

    "Our law breaches no principles of international law. And it does not breach the principle of sovereignty," said Valero-Ladron. "If they Chinese want to do business in Europe - like open a restaurant or something - they have to comply with health and safety requirements. This is not that different. If you want to operate in Europe, you have to respect the law."

    There could be room for negotiation. Countries can choose to pay not directly into the scheme - but by "equivalent measures". Those could be other forms of carbon reduction, rather than the purchase of permits under the EU plan.

    "It's a measure which a country feels most comfortable with" the EU spokesman said Thursday in conciliatory language. However, the EU introduced its policy after being frustrated by more than a decade of debate with no action at the United Nations. It will be extremely reluctant to back down. But China might soon find some allies. A draft law in the U.S. Congress proposes to make it illegal to comply.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Kaine Project Optimism in First Joint Campaign Event

    Kaine, a moderate, has potential to attract voters repelled by Donald Trump and those who may have a hard time fully embracing Clinton

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora