China snubs ICAO, says it never agreed to curb airline emissions

China reportedly agreed to the 'Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation' in 2016, but has since chosen not participate in the deal

Air China Boeing 777

Air China Boeing 777 (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China has reportedly backed out of an international campaign to reduce carbon emissions from airlines, Reuters reported this week.

The plan is called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), and is being implemented by member nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). According to Reuters, China was not listed as a participant in program documents published by the ICAO in late June.

Many environmentalists consider the program crucial to reigning in excess carbon emissions, and without China involved in the project, there is a fear that the remaining participants have little to no chance of drastically reducing carbon emissions through the effort.

Reuters cites unnamed sources from China as saying that China “never agreed to join in the first phase.” European officials are reportedly in talks to persuade China to join the initiative.

Both China and the U.S. agreed in 2016 to participate in the CORSIA initiative. Despite leaving the Paris Climate Deal in 2017, the United States remains a participant of the program, and the FAA continues to work on its implementation, according to Reuters.

An unidentified source from the European Union is quoted in the report as saying “in the months to come, Europe together with its ICAO partners, will work with China to find ways to address China’s concerns without undermining (CORSIA’s) environmental integrity.”