Indian, Chinese Airlines Snub Europe on Carbon Emissions

Indian and Chinese airlines have refused to supply the European Union with pollution data for last year, disobeying the EU’s decision to make air carriers pay emission charges, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said on Tuesday.

Overall, eight Chinese and two Indian airlines refused to report the emission data and could face penalties unless they provide the data, she said.

The European Commission has demanded these ten airlines, which account for less than three percent of total airline carbon emissions, supply the emission data by mid-June 2012.

The European Union imposed carbon taxes on airlines from January 1, 2012 in order to combat climate change.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration has previously voiced its objections to the EU’s decision.

“China objects to the EU’s decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines, and has expressed its concerns over the scheme through various channels,” the statement said.

“China will consider adopting the necessary measures to protect the interests of Chinese individuals and companies, pending the development of the issue.”

The EU’s decision to charge flights into and out of EU airports for carbon emissions from January 1, this year “runs contrary to the relevant principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and international civil aviation regulations,” the Chinese aviation regulator said.

The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme is one of the widest-reaching measures adopted by any country or regional bloc to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. It is estimated that around 4,000 airlines will have to pay the EU for their carbon emissions.

Under the EU directive, all airlines flying to EU countries, are now obliged to get permits to cover their carbon emissions for the whole length of a flight, as well as to monitor the emissions and to report. They will get 85 percent of those permits for free, but the remaining 15 percent should be paid.

Experts expect that the introduction of carbon taxes on airlines will lead to an increase in ticket prices for passengers, from two to 12 euros ($2,5 – $15,5) on medium-range flights, and from four to 24 euros ($5 – $31) on transatlantic flights.

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