Boeing has joined forces with rival aircraft manufacturer Airbus in criticising the contentious European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS), joining a growing number of nations that have also expressed concerns about the scheme and taken drastic measures against it.

At an airline industry meeting in Geneva yesterday, chief executive of Airbus, Tom Enders, stated that the Chinese have frozen orders for several planes worth up to US$14 billion, putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk. His statement confirms a previous statement from the aircraft manufacturer (see story here) that revealed the Chinese government had threatened to cancel plane orders.

Chief executive of Boeing, Jim Albaugh, also commented, telling Reuters that the issue “is not about Boeing and Airbus; it is about what is best for our customers and how we are going to get the whole industry to reduce its environmental footprint.

“I don’t think the European ETS approach is the right one. We need to have a standstill on this and work with ICAO and get some international rules in place that everyone can sign up to,” he added.

Similar sentiments are felt by nations around the world that have already taken steps to undermine the scheme on the basis that it is too “unilateral.” So far, China has prohibited its airlines from participating in the ETS (see story here), while India contemplates making a similar move. South Africa has also expressed its discontent (see story here) alongside the US.

For more about the scheme, read our feature from the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific January/February 2012 issue here.

Alisha Haridasani