China agrees $8bn Airbus plane deal

French President Francois Hollande is visiting China to boost bi-lateral tiesFrench President Francois Hollande is visiting China to boost bi-lateral tiesChina has agreed to buy 60 planes from European firm Airbus, in a deal worth $8bn (£5.2bn) at list prices.

It is the first such deal since the European Union suspended the inclusion of foreign airlines in its controversial Emissions Trading Scheme.

China had voiced its opposition to the scheme, which charges airlines for the carbon they emit.

Last year, Airbus had alleged that China blocked firms from purchasing its planes amid the row over the scheme.

The deal was signed as part of a series of agreements during French President Francois Hollande’s two-day visit to China.

It includes an order for 42 Airbus A320 aircraft and 18 A330 planes.

Carbon emissions

The European Union’s plans to introduce the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have been met with a lot of opposition.

The scheme creates permits for carbon emissions. Once an airline exceed its allowance, it has to pay to buy extra permits.

The number of permits is also reduced over time, so that the total CO2 output from airlines in European airspace falls.

The supporters of the scheme say that it acts as an incentive for airlines to pollute less.

However, more than two dozen countries, including China, Russia and the US, have opposed the move, saying it violates international law.

Under pressure from these countries, the European authorities agreed in November to suspend the inclusion of foreign carriers in the scheme for one year.

Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that the “agreement shows that China recognises the efforts that Airbus and the EU have made to resolve the [emissions trading scheme] issue and is a step towards ‘business as usual'”.

Source: BBC

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