Summary Box: China Wants Talks ON EU Carbon Charge

Published January 5, 2012 5:54PM (EST)

AIRING CONCERNS: China urged the European Union to heed objections to EU plans to charge airlines for carbon emissions. Airlines flying to or from Europe must obtain certificates for the carbon dioxide they emit. They will get free credits to cover most flights this year but must buy or trade for credits to cover the rest.

FLYING ON FUMES: The charges, which took effect Sunday, aim to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. Airlines call them an improper tax. Ratings agency Fitch has warned that the conflict could spiral into a global trade dispute.

CHINA'S BIG STICK: Beijing could have unusually strong leverage in a possible dispute because its state-owned airlines carry large numbers of Chinese and other Asian tourists to Europe. Any disruption would hurt Europe's travel industry when the continent is struggling with a debt crisis and high unemployment.

By Salon Staff

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