The 'conflict' over the new EU Emissions Trading Scheme, between the EU and more than 20 countries including China, Russia and the United States continues, with seven major aviation companies joining the fray.
In a written statement to political leaders across Europe, the seven companies warned about the new EU Emissions Trading Scheme, arguing that there was a threat to jobs and trade.
The letter was sent to European political leaders, including the UK's David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel, France's François Fillon and Spain's Mariano Rajoy. Airbus and the six large European airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Air France, Air Berlin and Iberia stated that the carbon pollution scheme endangered jobs and billions of dollars,
further arguing that it was also opening up the possibility of trade battles with China, the US and Russia.
"The EU Emissions Trading Scheme started out as a discussion over environmental legislation but is turning into a trade conflict," an Airbus spokesman said.
“Three Chinese airlines – Air China, China Eastern and Hainan Airlines – had failed to finalise preliminary agreements to buy A330s because of Beijing's unease over the ETS issue,” he added.
The spokesman went on to explain that half of the 2,000 jobs threatened by the stalled Chinese orders were located at its own plants in France, Germany, the UK and Spain. “The measure is threatening more than 1,000 jobs [at Airbus] and another thousand through the supply chain," Airbus Chief Executive Thomas Enders said.
The European Union introduced the carbon tax on airlines from 1 January – air companies will begin receiving bills in 2013 after the carbon emissions of 2012 have been assessed. According to the EU, the carbon tax on airlines will help to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.