CHINA ORDERS PROVINCES TO SET GREENHOUSE GAS CAPS
China's state planning agency ordered seven provinces and cities to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions last Friday as part of a plan to cut carbon intensity by 17% over the 2011-2015 period. China requested the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Tianjin, and the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set targets and submit proposals for target allocation. Guangdong's plan has already been approved by the country's cabinet and commits the province to increasing non-fossil fuel use to 20% of total energy consumption by 2015. China has said that it is committed to using "market mechanisms" to reach its carbon reduction targets. However, as the nation prepares to introduce domestic carbon cutting measures, China is resisting efforts by the European Union to cut carbon from airlines. "China will not cooperate with the European Union on the ETS, so Chinese airlines will not impose surcharges on customers relating to the emissions tax," said the deputy secretary-general of the China Air Transport Association. Other Asia Pacific airlines will likely pass the cost onto consumers, but four Chinese airlines announced in November that they would take legal action against the EU for its emissions trading scheme. However, such a move may not be successful as a coalition of U.S. airlines recently lost a legal challenge to the scheme. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/13/us-china-carbon-idUSTRE80C0GZ20120113 and http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2137394/chinese-regions-prepare-carbon-trading-mulls-coal-cap. For news on Chinese airlines, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/07/uk-airlines-carbon-tax-asia-idUSLNE80600Y20120107.