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29 countries ink joint declaration opposing EU carbon fees

(Xinhua)

08:49, February 23, 2012

MOSCOW, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- A total of 29 countries inked Wednesday in Moscow a joint declaration opposing a European scheme that forces all airlines to pay for their carbon emissions.

The declaration was issued after an international conference on cutting greenhouse gas emissions with 33 participating countries.

The declaration envisages a basket of retaliatory measures to the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), including allowing any country to introduce any measures in line with national laws to either completely scrap the EU ETS or to postpone it.

Ji Yuan, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told Xinhua that the EU's unilateral decision to levy carbon emissions fees on all airlines is unacceptable for China.

The Moscow declaration is aimed at forcing EU to stop its plan of carbon charges, Ji said.

According to Ji, the EU's 2012 cap is set at 97 percent of airlines' average emission from 2004 to 2006 and will fall to 95 percent in the 2013-2020 period. In 2012, 85 percent of the airlines' permits will be handed out for free, while 15 percent will be sold at auction.

Ji said standard of the EU cap is obsolete due to increasing flights to Europe in recent years and most of the countries have to pay carbon fees according to the standard.

The EU carbon fees are disguised carbon taxes, Ji said, adding that EU, as a regional bloc, has no right to levy tax on other countries under international treaties on air travels.

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