Tuesday, November 8, 2011

China Contemplating Legal Challenge to ETS

China Air Transport Association (CATA) Deputy Secretary General Chai Haibo indicated Monday that the CATA and multiple Chinese carriers were planning to file a lawsuit challenging the EU's plan to incorporate foreign carriers into the ETS. See Zhang Xiang, China Urges EU to Drop Aviation Emission Scheme, Lawsuit Looms, Xinhua News, Nov. 8, 2011 (available here). It is unclear where this legal challenge would be filed or whether it would include legal claims distinct from those brought by the American carriers in their suit before the ECJ. The article also includes the following paragraph:

The emission charges should not be imposed on airlines but on European and U.S. companies which supply most of the engines used on major airlines' planes, as engines are the real culprits for carbon emissions, Zhang Hongbiao, an official in charge of technologies with Aviation Industry Corporation of China, told the China Economic Weekly.

The quote suggests China's opposition to extraterritorial regulations would not extend to regulations applied only to its primary manufacturing competitors. China is like most of the actors in this ETS drama in that its commitment to international law principles arguably might seem to vary in proportion to the anticipated impact on its domestic economic interests, but a successful international law regime requires consistent adherence to the principles enshrined in its treaties.


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