In what is threatening to become an international trade dispute, China has joined the U.S., Russia and other countries opposing European Union charges on airlines for carbon emissions. From the Washington Post:
The Chinese air regulator said China’s carriers are barred from paying the charges or other fees without government permission, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said Beijing will consider unspecified measures in response to protect Chinese companies.
There was no indication there would be any immediate impact on flights between China and Europe or penalties for Chinese airlines. The charges took effect in January but money will not be collected until next year.
The dispute highlights Beijing’s complicated status in global climate efforts.
China is the biggest source of climate-changing gases but as a developing country is exempt from Kyoto Protocol emission limits. Owners of Chinese power plants and factories have received billions of dollars from a European system that pays developing countries to curb emissions but Beijing has resisted binding limits.