Beijing: China geared up for a showdown with the European Union, banning its airlines from paying a carbon emissions tax imposed on operators using EU airports, a levy that has been objected to by 26 nations including India and the US.
The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme requires all airlines using airports in the EU to pay a tax for their greenhouse gas emissions.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said China's airlines are not allowed to pay a charge on carbon emissions imposed by the EU without government permission.
In a statement, the CAAC said it had been authorised by 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."
The EU has imposed the tax with effect from January one, but 26 countries, including India, Russia, China and US, had jointly opposed the move saying it was "inconsistent with the international legal regimes".
In fact, India, Russia, the US, China and other countries are scheduled to meet in Moscow later this month to decide on whether to take retaliatory measures against the European Union's "unilateral" decision.
The emissions trading scheme is one of the widest- reaching measures adopted by any country or regional bloc to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.
It is estimated that around 4,000 airlines will have to pay the EU for their carbon emissions.
"China objects to the EU's decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines, and has expressed its concerns over the scheme through various channels," the statement said.
"China will consider adopting necessary measures to protect interests of Chinese individuals and companies, pending the development of the issue," it said.
China hopes the EU can find proper solutions to the issue with considerations of the overall bilateral relations, the two sides' combined efforts to combat climate change as well as the sustainable development of the international airline industry, state-run Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.
First Published: Monday, February 6, 2012, 20:44