Governments opposed to the European Union's new carbon emissions tax for airlines should not underestimate its determination to curb climate-changing gases, the EU's climate chief warned Friday.
Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action, also challenged nations that don't like the EU program to propose their own ways of cutting carbon emissions, rather than just criticizing the plan which went into effect on Jan. 1.
"We must hear from the parties that don't like the EU scheme ... what exactly do they want, what do they like, rather than saying just what they do not like," she said.
The European Union's top climate official says the 26 countries opposing a mandate that all airlines using European airports must pay for their greenhouse emissions should take their complaints to the United Nations aviation group and see what comes of it, Reuters reports.
Europe is willing to discuss its new carbon emissions tax for airlines with disgruntled governments but has no plans to scrap the levy, top EU officials said Monday.
Airlines and governments have complained the tax is too costly and was implemented without consultation. Industry leaders are warning the disagreement could spark a trade war between Europe and the rest of the world.
"We're ready to negotiate within our framework," Siim Kallas, European Commission vice president and transport commissioner, said at an aviation conference in Singapore. "We aren't trying to dominate the world."
Europe's transport commissioner, Siim Kallas, says the European Union will not buckle to international pressure to scrap its mandate on greenhouse emissions by international airlines, but said he's worried about it escalating into a trade conflict, Reuters reports.
Reuters reports that China, in the run-up to a Beijing summit with European Union leaders, is warning it will take unspecified "necessary steps" to protect the rights of its airlines against the EU system charging airlines for their carbon emissions.
A top European Union climate official says he could see a "conditional suspension" of a controversial new requirement that airlines using European airports pay for their greenhouse emissions, if nations speed up adoption of a global emissions control system, The New York Times reports.
Sources tell Reuters that 26 nations, including the United States, will meet Feb. 21 in Moscow to discuss a plan of attack against the European Union's new mandate that airlines using Europe's airports must pay for their carbon emissions.
China announced Monday it will prohibit its airlines from paying European Union charges on carbon emissions, ratcheting up a global dispute over the cost of combatting climate change.
The charges are aimed at curbing emissions of climate-changing gases but governments including China, the United States and Russia oppose them. The ratings agency Fitch warned in December the conflict could spiral into a global trade dispute.
The Chinese air regulator said China's carriers are barred from paying the charges or other fees without government permission, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said Beijing will consider unspecified measures in response to protect Chinese companies.
Reuters reports that House and Senate negotiators have agreed that Congress will formally oppose Europe's new law charging international airlines for their carbon emissions when using European airports.
Fifty-five major European airports accounting for over half of all passenger traffic on the continent are now part of a program aimed at cutting carbon emissions, Airports Council International said Tuesday.
Airports are changing airport vehicles and buses to electric or hybrid power, and installing solar panels to generate the airport's own electricity, among other measures. Specific taxiing techniques are used to reduce fuel burn, and ground power is provided to parked airliners instead of having them leave their engines running.
The industry group said participating airports include London's Gatwick and Heathrow; Frankfurt; Munich; Amsterdam; Brussels; Zurich; Geneva; as well as both airports in Paris and Milan.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the House Energy Action Team has discussed renewable energy as part of energy legislation that could attract Democratic support, National Journal reports.
Though water supplies are plentiful, the surge of hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota has prompted a battle between water providers and a government-back cooperative over who should supply water for the process, Reuters reports.
Environmental activists called on Organizing for Action, the political group built from President Obama's campaign, to press the administration against approving the Keystone XL pipeline, Politico reports.