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China opposes EU aviation emissions plan: foreign ministry


17:08, September 29, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday spoke out against an European Union (EU) scheme to demand global airlines to buy carbon emission permits, calling for the EU to act prudently and negotiate with relevant countries.

"China appreciates the EU's efforts to deal with climate change but opposes its unilateral legal action," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a press briefing in Beijing.

Hong's comments came in response to an EU plan to require airlines flying to or from the bloc to buy permits from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for 15 percent of the carbon emissions they generate, with large fines for noncompliance. The plan is set to take effect in January 2012.

Hong said China and many other countries oppose the EU plan, calling for the EU to take prudent actions and pragmatic attitudes to negotiate with China and other countries to properly resolve the issue.

Hong said all countries should follow the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, and work together to address aviation emissions rather than taking unilateral actions that may result in confrontation.

As a developing country, China will make unwavering efforts to build a resource-conserving and environmentally-friendly society, seek sustainable development and make important contributions to global endeavors to tackle climate change, Hong said.

With the Durban climate change conference set to take place in November, Hong called on developed countries to make a commitment at an early date and assume their due obligations.

China would like to work with all sides to seek positive, comprehensive and balanced results from the Durban conference, Hong said.


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