The European Union caved in on implementing the carbon trading scheme known as ETS that would have taxed international airlines flying into Europe.
The EU claimed it didn’t really cave to international pressure (Financial Times, free registration required) but clearly it did. China was the first country to tell its airlines not to pay. This was followed by counties in the Middle East, India and the US Senate. But we’re going to give credit to China, not only as the leader but a country which adeptly uses its strength in ordering-or not-aircraft from Airbus or Boeing as political tools.
China put on hold ordering $14bn worth of Airbuses, notably 35 A330s. Airbus froze production rates pending this order–which means a loss of jobs.
As countries protesting the unilateral ETS scheme noted, such taxation should come from international agreements through the airline organization ICAO.
What is so annoying about the ETS scheme is that the taxes would go into the countries’ general fund and not be applied to environmental improvements.