EU agrees carbon deal with China, world's biggest emitter
BRUSSELS - Reuters
REUTERS PhotoChina, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, has struck a deal to work with the European Union to cut greenhouse gases through projects including the development of Chinese emissions trading schemes, the European Commission said on Thursday.
The European Union and China have frequently clashed over climate policy and Beijing has flouted EU law requiring all airlines using European airports to pay for their emissions through the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
At the same time, the two sides have maintained an uneasy dialogue, including an EU-China summit in Brussels this week.
EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Chen Deming, Chinese commerce minister, signed a financing deal promoting the transition "towards a low-carbon economy and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in China", the Commission said in a statement.
The Commission is keen for partnerships with other emissions schemes as part of efforts to boost its own ETS, on which the price of carbon has sunk far below the levels required to spur green investments.
Last month, it agreed to link its ETS with Australia's scheme by 2018.
EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said on Thursday the Chinese financing deal was "an important step for an ever closer cooperation towards a robust international carbon market".
"Needless to say that it makes a significant difference when now also China wants to use carbon markets to reduce emissions cost-effectively and boost low-carbon technologies," she said in the statement.