February 6, 2012- On Monday, China announced it is prohibiting its national airlines from paying for carbon emissions that the European Union is charging. The latest announcement by China increases the dispute over how to combat climate change and its costs.
The EU charges were set in place to curb the emission of gases that help to create climate change. However, governments in countries like Russia, the United States and China oppose the charge. The air regulator from China said carriers from China were barred from complying with the law and paying any charges without prior government permission.
There was not any indication that flights between Europe and China would be impacted. The new law took effect in the beginning of January but monies were not to be collected until 2012.
Because of its size, China is the world’s biggest source of gases that cause climate change. However, since it is listed as a developing country it is exempt from emission limits set by the Kyoto Protocol. Even though Chinese factories and power plants have received a great deal of money from a system in Europe that pays to curb emissions in developing countries, the Chinese government has been reluctant to set binding limits.
Under the new emission law, airlines flying into Europe must get a certificate for emissions of carbon dioxide. Free credits will be given to most of this year’s flights, but the airlines must trade or buy credits to pay for the difference.