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China joins US in opposing EU carbon tax on airlines

China on Thursday joined the United States in opposing a European Union plan to levy a carbon tax on all airlines in its airspace from January 1 — which won key legal backing a day earlier, Agence France Presse reported.

Under the scheme, all airlines flying to and from the 27 member states will have to buy permits if they exceed their emissions allowance.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Wednesday threw out a bid by US and Canadian airlines — who say the scheme violates aviation and climate change pacts — to block its introduction, the Toronto Star reported.

On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said:

We oppose the unilateral legislation imposed by the EU … We hope the European side will be prudent and practical, and deal with this issue appropriately through consultation with relevant parties including China.

It is understood that the tax would hit all of China’s major airlines.

The US Department of Transportation has “strongly objected” to the plan, which it says imposes European policy on other countries, AFP reported.

Airlines around the world have warned the tax will cost the aviation industry 23.8 billion dollars over eight years.

The EU carbon scheme is one of the widest-reaching measures adopted by any country or regional bloc to regulate greenhouse emissions, the Toronto Star reported.

The US Airlines Association has said it would comply with the European Court of Justice decision, but may take the case to the High Court of Justice, in London.

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