China retaliates to EU carbon tax, blocks Airbus orders
March 9, 2012, 12:23 am TWN
PARIS--China has blocked purchases of Airbus planes by Chinese companies in reaction to a disputed European carbon tax, the head of the Airbus parent company EADS said on Thursday.
"Airbus is subjected to retaliation measures," EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois told a press conference as he presented annual results, adding: "The Chinese government rejects (refuses) to approve airlines' orders for long range airplanes."
The European Union imposed the carbon tax on airlines with effect from Jan. 1, but carriers will begin receiving bills only in 2013 after this year's carbon emissions have been assessed.
The EU has says the tax will help it achieve a goal of cutting carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and that it will not back down on the plan.
But more than two dozen countries, including China, Russia and the United States, have opposed the EU move, saying it violates international law.
Gallois said that at EADS, "we are pushing for a worldwide solution, we don't think that a European solution only is appropriate.
"It is creating a distortion and a climate of opposition between Europe and the rest of the world," he noted.
Regarding orders for Airbus planes from China, Gallois said that opposition by Beijing could affect the sales of at least two dozen long-haul A330 planes this year and next.
"We ask the European Union to take into account the global position of almost every country outside of Europe against this scheme," he said.
Gallois made the comments after EADS had posted a 2011 profit leap beyond expectations and given an ambitious outlook for this year, and the boss also warned Germany against "external interference."
EADS said that its 2011 net profit jumped 87 percent to 1.03 billion euros (US$1.35 billion), sending the group soaring to the top of the CAC-40 gainers in midday Paris trading.