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China Set To Retaliate Against EU For ETS Actions

Chines Government Says It Will Impound European Aircraft

If the EU chooses to impose fines or other punishments against China for violating the term of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), China says it stands ready to retaliate ... by impounding European aircraft which land at Chinese airports.

The China Air Transport Association delivered the warning at the IATA meeting in Beijing. EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has given international carriers until the end of the week to submit data concerning carbon emissions to the body or face "enforcement action."

Reuters reports that Wei Zhenzhong, secretary general of the China Air Transport Association, said that Chinese airlines have no intention of providing data, and that they stand united in that decision. He was speaking on the sidelines of the IATA meeting in Beijing.

Impounding aircraft is one of the enforcement actions allowed by the legislation creating the EU-ETS. Wei said he would prefer to avoid a standoff in which each side was holding on to the others' airplanes. "We would try to avoid any trade war," he said.

While the EU has said it will withdraw its unilateral ETS if other nations create their own legislation to meet the EU's emissions standards, many world governments, including the U.S., have steadfastly refused to participate in the plan. IATA director of aviation environment said "it's not about the money. It's an issue of sovereignty."

The ICAO has said it is "very concerned" about the saber-rattling going on between the EU and China. The UN's aviation arm says the organization wants to see aviation continue to grow, but the issue is complicated to begin with, and is being made even more so by the pressure from the EU.

FMI: www.icao.int

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