London: With the European Commission resolved to press ahead with implementation of legislation intended to bring the aviation sector within the ambit of the EU's emissions trading scheme from January 2012, European aviation and aerospace firms are developing jitters over likely retaliatory moves by China and other affected countries.
In one such clear indication Airbus chief Tom Enders has warned Brussels it would provoke a trade war with China and other powerful countries should it persist with plans to make international airlines pay for their carbon emissions.
So far it had been European airlines had been expressing opposition to a move by the EU to bring aviation under the ambit of the emissions trading scheme. The entry of Airbus into the controversy will only strengthen opposition within the EU.
According to reports in the London business daily, The Financial Times, Tom Enders has written to EU climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, that ''it is madness to risk retaliation'' from influential players such as the Americans and the Chinese.
US airlines are already battling the EU through a legal challenge before the European Court of Justice. Chinese aviation officials raised a stink last month and openly urged their government to retaliate against the EU with trade measures.
Ms Hedegaard revealed that officials from Beijing and Brussels were discussing whether China qualified for exemptions under a clause in the European rules that partially exempts airlines from countries with equivalent carbon emission measures.