Climate politics in the EU has always been a bit odd. Now it is costing European jobs as a never ending debt crisis sucks Europe into recession. EADS, the company that makes Airbus aircraft is required by the EU to charge a carbon tax attached to the sale of their planes.
The BBC reported in a March 8th article that
More than two dozen countries, including China, Russia and the US, have opposed the EU move, saying it violates international law.
The tax affects deliveries beginning in 2013 and went into effect on January 1st.
The Chinese government may refuse to let Chinese airlines purchase Airbus planes. It has had a chilling effect on business at Airbus. On March 8th, EADS complained to the authorities, saying they were going to lose orders to Boeing. On March 20th, they asked the EU to delay new rules for 2 years. In April, Boeing secured a new airplane order from a Chinese airline.
We in the US are benefiting from EU largesse. Boeing is the largest exporter in the US and now they have a competitive advantage…..thanks to the misguided application of climate politics. Unilateral regional actions in an interconnected world don’t work. China does not like being required to pay for European political decisions. As long as they have a choice, they will simply take their business elsewhere.
I wonder how long this will last. China is projected to be the largest market for commercial Aircraft in the world for the foreseeable future. I’ll predict right now, that no matter who is elected president in 2012, a carbon tax on aircraft is going nowhere in the US. Europe will have to decide whether jobs or carbon emissions are more important…stay tuned it should get interesting.