China and Europe have been butting heads this week over Europe’s new environmental regulations for aviation. The Wall Street Journal reports that China is putting orders for 45 Airbus planes by Chinese airliners on hold, costing the European manufacturer $12 billion in revenue. While the Chinese haven’t made any direct statements to this effect, most believe the move is retaliation for the EU’s new carbon-trading scheme, which would require all carriers traveling to EU locations to purchase “carbon offsets” at great cost to make up for their planes’ carbon usage.
For those still clinging to vain hopes for the green agenda, let this be a sign. China is not interested in trading economic gain for lower CO2 emissions, and it even seems to prefer economic conflict with Europe to an environmentally friendly hit to its bottom line. Greens had hoped that the establishment of a carbon-trading system in Europe would inspire the rest of the world to follow suit; now it looks like the result may be an international trade war instead.
The global green folly continues.