China bans airlines from joining EU's Emmissions Trading Scheme

China has "banned" all carriers in the country from joining the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The carriers have also been barred from hiking their fares or adding new charges for the scheme.

The ban comes just weeks after China Air Transport Association said its members did not support the ETS which is aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

The scheme, that came into effect 1 January, levies a charge on flights in EU airspace based on carbon emissions.

The scheme has been severely criticised not just by China but also by other countries such as the US and Canada. China claims its airlines would be impacted to the tune of €95 million in additional annual costs from the scheme.

According to analysts, given the global economic conditions and an uncertain outlook for the travel industry, airlines were concerned about the scheme hurting their profits.

BBC quoted Chris De Lavigne of Frost and Sullivan as saying the sector was already facing a very challenging situation.

He added the airline industry as a whole had already been hit by high fuel costs in the past couple of years and additional cost factors were the last thing needed.
The EU estimates a rise of between 2 and 12 euros per passenger in air fares, if the scheme were to go ahead.