Global airlines urge for EU carbon deal

Global airlines seek a United Nations-brokered deal in a row over aviation emissions between China and the European Union.
Written by Ina Muri, Weekend Editor

Global airlines called on Sunday for a U.N.-brokered deal in a row over aviation emissions between China and the European Union. This conflict is spilling into a damaging trade war,Reuters reports.

The call was made by the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and comes amidst the signs that the EU might be willing to ease the unilateral stance that is risking Chinese support in resolving Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government banned the country’s airlines to participate in the EU’s emissions trading scheme because they say it violates international climate negotiations, European Voice reports. The Chinese authorities justify the ban by saying that including airlines in the ETS violates the principles of international climate negotiations and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO.)

China was an early opponent of the EU’s cap-and-trade scheme, which has drawn protests from the U.S. and India, and the escalating row threatens to hamper efforts to work out an international solution to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, according to the Reuters report. By banning its airlines from co-operating, China hardened its stance just ahead of a February 14 Beijing summit where the EU will seek Chinese help to ease its debt crisis.

The EU says its scheme to charge airlines for emissions when flying in and out of Europe is needed as a part of he fight against global climate change. The scheme took effect on January 1 this year.

“The European Commission is now much more open to an ICAO solution,” IATA director Tony Tyler said. “I very much hope that the EU and all of its members states will work hard with the ICAO to come up with a global solution. It is not going to be easy.”

If no solution is found, Chinese airlines could be banned form flying to the EU from April 2013.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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