China welcomes EU carbon tax freeze

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Tuesday said China welcomes a possible freeze by the European Union of the carbon emission tax on airlines. The EU Commission this week proposed to freeze the carbon emission tax on non-EU flights for a year, while flights within the union will still be taxed for their carbon emissions.

Under the European Emissions Trading Scheme, or ETS, all airlines flying in EU airspace have to pay a tax on 15 percent of their total carbon emissions in 2012, a move that has triggered fierce opposition from global airlines.

Hong said China urges the international community to rather tackle climate change through multilateral mechanisms such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. EU climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she agreed to put the tax on hold, and is calling for other ways to tackle airline emissions.

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