I have earlier blogged about the EU ETS. While it was not certain whether other countries outside the EU would follow the regulations, it was clear that China would take a more strident position. The Chinese viewpoints across the stakeholder spectrum is found in various pieces of the Global Times, a Chinese Daily.
It was reported that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on February 6, 2012 that China's airlines are not allowed to pay a charge on carbon emissions imposed by the European Union(EU), and neither to hike freights nor to add other fees accordingly without government permission.
The Global Times reported on February 7, 2012:
"Civil aviation authorities Monday ordered the nation's airlines not to comply with the EU's Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), sending out China's "most concrete signal of opposition" to the unilateral carbon emission tax scheme.
"China objects to the EU's decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines, and has expressed its concerns through various channels," the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement after releasing the directive.
The CAAC said it had been authorized by the State Council to notify all domestic airlines of the order. Under the directive, Chinese airlines are also prohibited from increasing fares or charging items on the grounds of the ETS.The order came shortly after the scheme took effect January 1, which required international flights departing from or landing at the airports of the bloc's 27 nations to pay for the carbon emissions."
On February 6, 2012, a local internet newspaper reported,
"China's airlines are not allowed to pay a charge on carbon emissions imposed by the Europe Union(EU), and neither to hike freights nor to add other fees accordingly without government permission, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said Monday.
The CAAC said in a statement that it had been authorized by the State Council, China's Cabinet, to notify the ban to all domestic airlines.
The statement said the EU's decision to charge flights into and out of EU airports for carbon emission "runs contrary to relevant principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the international civil aviation regulations."
This piece in the Global Times titled "EU cannot act as sole toll bearer of the skies" was harsh on EU's unilateral step.
"In essence, the EU decision to charge for carbon emissions from flights is a unilateral decision that could only be met with opposition. Such a decision could act as a kind of trade barrier.
The EU should wake up to the fact that a program that has no support among other countries could hardly be operable.
Curbing global warming is our shared goal. There is still some time to negotiate to find a solution."
An interesting debate in the Chinese intellectual space with respect to the ETS is found here. Overall, the Chinese media has been rather strident in their opposition to the EU ETS. Whether this stridency would lead to a Chinese challenge internationally or the backtracking by the EU is to be seen. The environment, trade interests and domestic policy seem to be having a heady interplay here!