Written by Chris Agabi, Lagos with agency report
China on February 6 announced it has banned its airlines from paying European Union charges on carbon emissions, escalating a global dispute over the cost of combating climate change. The charges are aimed at curbing emissions of climate-changing gases but governments including China, the U.S. and Russia oppose them. Similarly Dr. Harold Demuren, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has also said Nigerian carriers would not pay the charges because their contribution to carbon emissions is insignificant. He said if Nigeria must pay, it would impose similar charges on foreign carriers flying into Nigeria. The ratings agency Fitch warned in December that the conflict could spiral into a global trade dispute.
The Chinese air regulator said the country’s carriers are barred from paying the charges or other fees without government permission, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. A statement by the Civil Aviation Administration of China said: ‘China objects to the EU’s decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines.’
It said Beijing will now consider unspecified measures in response to protect Chinese companies.
There was no indication there would be any immediate impact on flights between China and Europe or penalties for Chinese airlines.
The charges took effect in January but money will not be collected until next year.
The dispute highlights Beijing’s complicated status in global climate efforts.
China is the biggest source of climate-changing gases but as a developing country is exempt from Kyoto Protocol emission limits.