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Countries unite to tackle EU flight tax

By Xin Dingding and Cecily Liu (China Daily)

08:11, February 24, 2012

Moscow meeting sees common approach develop against scheme

BEIJING / LONDON - A 32-nation conference agreed that Europe should drop its unilateral decision to impose a green tax on airlines flying into the European Union, and a majority of countries signed a declaration opposing it, a senior official said on Thursday.

All airlines using EU airports, from this year, are required to buy permits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. The scheme was introduced unilaterally, without any negotiation.

"(Charging emission fees on international aviation) is a multilateral issue, but the EU breached this principle of handling international matters," said Ji Yuan, a deputy director at the planning and development department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Thirty-two countries, including China, the United States, Brazil, India, Japan, Singapore, South Africa and Argentina, participated in the international conference on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in Moscow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"All participating countries agreed that the EU should drop its unilateral methods and return to a multilateral discussion to solve the emission issue," said Ji, who was a member of the Chinese delegation to the conference.

So far, 29 countries have signed a joint declaration opposing the European scheme.

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