China says it will not accept EU measures on emissions
Beijing: China said it will not accept any "unilateral and compulsory market measures" announced by the European Union threatening Chinese carriers with fines for non-compliance with its Emissions Trading System (ETS).
Speaking at the 2013 China Civil Aviation Development Forum in Beijing, Yan Mingchi, deputy director-general of the policy, law and regulation department under the CAAC , said, "Airlines in developing countries should be provided with financial and technological support in their efforts at coping with the effects of climate change."
Balance must be maintained between the development of the international aviation industry and emission reduction targets, state-run China Daily quoted him as saying.
Eight Chinese and two Indian airlines are facing possible fines for not paying for their emissions during flights within the EU, the European Commission announced yesterday.
It said member states could fine the companies under the terms of the ETS, which is designed to cut CO2 emissions.
Greenhouse gas emissions from those countries participating in the ETS dropped by two percent in 2012, and aircraft operators responsible for 98 percent of the 2012 aviation emissions covered by the ETS have taken the necessary steps to date to comply with the ETS legislation, the EU said.
According to the EU, the Chinese and Indian airlines identified have not submitted their 2011 carbon emission data to the EU yet, whereas 1,200 other carriers have already handed over their reports, the EU statement said.
The Chinese carriers could face fines totalling 2.4 million euros (USD 3.09 million), and the two Indian airlines face fines of 30,000 euros, according to a New York Times report.
The EU decided to suspend its ETS in February to wait for a global market-based mechanism to cut emissions, to be discussed at the International Civil Aviation Organisation's meeting in September.
However, Yan insisted that technology and operational improvements are the most effective methods of aviation emission reduction, rather than the carbon tax, and that developing countries should be assisted in achieving those.
Statistics from the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) show that the Chinese civil aviation industry reduced its carbon missions by 240,000 metric tons in 2012 compared with 2011.
Yan said the country has continued to attach huge significance to aviation emissions and has made progress through optimising its airspace structure and other technological methods.
China Eastern Airlines Co Ltd became the first Chinese carrier yesterday to get an Airbus 320aircraft, equipped with special wing-tip devices that cut emissions.
The devices, known as "sharklets", are placed at right angles at the end of the wing.
They are made from light-weight materials that can offer up to four percent fuel reduction, according to Airbus.
"China Eastern will introduce 97 more sharklet-equipped A320 aircraft to our fleet," said Shuming Jiang, its vice-president of flight operations.
Shu said that China Eastern plans to add about 200 new aircraft between 2013 and 2015 which will improve the airlines' overall fuel efficiency.
The use of advanced bio fuels - a recognised safe and efficient method of reducing carbon emissions - in aviation is also becoming a major industry issue for airlines and aircraft manufacturers.
Air China made its first test flight using bio fuel in 2011, and China Eastern has also completed a test flight using a mix of fuels including used cooking oil - or gutter oil - and palm oil, in April this year.
However, the high price of bio fuel is still a challenge to the industry, at almost six times that of conventional fuel.