Air travel: EU-China deadlock over CO2
7 June 2011
"The trade war between China and Europe will not break out over manufacturing industry, customs duties, dumping or the yuan exchange rate, but on a front that no one expected: in the sky," writes La Stampa, in the wake of a threat voiced by the Beijing representative at the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Conference to simply close Chinese air space "if the EU, as it has already decided, introduces an emissions tax on all intercontinental flights leaving the EU on 1st January." The European Commission plans to grant a "license to pollute" similar to those already esablished for other industrial sectors to every airline operating in Europe, explains Le Monde: 82% of emissions rights will be free, but a 18% will have to be purchased on "carbon credits market." According to the IATA, this will represent a tax of 1.5 billion euros for the airline sector. "Europe is now involved in a struggle with the rest of the world," points out Le Monde, which remarks that "one of the usual trade disputes involving Europe, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, will obviously be targeted."