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China opposes EU carbon emissions tax, wants multilateral solution


09:31, November 22, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's chief negotiator to the UN climate change talks said on Wednesday that the country opposes the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a plan to tax non-EU international airlines for carbon emissions.

However, he said the country is willing to seek a solution to carbon emissions reduction in the aviation industry through multilateral mechanisms.

Solutions in the aviation industry regarding climate change issues should be decided on the basis of negotiation and common agreement. The ETS goes against relevant international conventions and rules, and is thus opposed by most non-EU countries, Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.

The ETS system requires all airlines flying in EU airspace to pay a tax on 15 percent of their total carbon emissions for 2012, a move that has triggered global opposition.

China believes that a unilateral measure taken in regards to such an issue that involves multilateral interests is improper and unlawful, the official said.

Moreover, by setting benchmark emissions quotas at the average annual level in the 2004-2006 period, the EU trading system discriminates against China and many other developing countries whose aviation industries have grown rapidly in recent years, Xie said.

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