Aviation Firms Protest EU Carbon Tax

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European aviation officials say the threat of economic reprisals from countries opposed to the European Union's application of a carbon tax to foreign airlines is growing. As we reported last week, Li Jiaxiang, China's director of the Civil Aviation Administration, told Bloomberg the choice of airplanes was up to the airlines, but Airbus claims that's not quite true and that $12 billion in orders has been "suspended."

On Monday, Airbus CEO Tom Enders, along with executives with other manufacturers and airlines, wrote EU representatives saying the loss of business for his company would result in 2,000 job losses. "The aim must be to find a compromise solution and to have these punitive trade measures stopped before it is too late," Reuters reported. "We have always believed that only a global solution would be adequate to resolve the problem of global aviation emissions." Reuters also said Enders wrote a separate letter saying the reprisals my spread to others among the 27 countries opposed to the Emissions Trading Scheme. "It seems that these threats are now becoming very real and are being translated into concrete action, which is starting to have serious consequences on the European aviation business," he wrote. The EU is so far unmoved by the protest. Member countries voted unanimously to keep the tax last week.