China Airs Anger Over EU Flight Tax

Posted January 5th, 2012 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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Flying to and from Europe will not be getting more expensive for passengers using Chinese airlines, at least not yet.

China says its airlines will not pay a European Union tax on carbon dioxide emmissions that went into effect January 1. And during a news conference Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei urged European officials to take a “realistic attitude and act carefully.”

The tax is part of an EU plan to curb emissions of gasses that are suspected of damaging the environment. The tax has already been in effect for numerous other industries operating in Europe for several years.

EU officials say they have no intentions of changing the law or “backing down,” arguing the tax only adds a few dollars to the cost of each airline ticket. But the EU plan has also run into opposition from other countries, including the United States.

A global industry trade group, the International Air Transport Association , criticized the EU tax in a statement last month. IATA has said the tax will costs airlines billions of dollars over the next several years.


((SOUNDBITE, saved as “CN China EU Flights – Lei” in House Shared Thursday:


“Many countries are against the European Union's actions. We hope that Europe can take a cautious and realistic attitude and act carefully and properly consult related parties including China to resolve this issue.''