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Green tax from January 2012 will stay, says EU

The carbon tax on flights landing in European airports that can cost a passenger an additional up to Rs 300 is going to stay. Chetan Chauhan reports.

business Updated: Dec 07, 2011 20:19 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The carbon tax on flights landing in European airports that can cost a passenger an additional up to Rs 300 is going to stay.

"No way the Parliament will change the law," said Jo Leinen, chairman of European Parliament delegation to climate talks at Durban, claiming that the criticism of the European emission trading scheme (EU-ETS) was biased.

India and other developing countries had opposed the carbon tax on aviation sector from January 2012 terming it unfair trade practice in name of climate change and violative of the basic spirit of United Nations' climate convention.

Not just aviation. The EU also wants carbon tax on maritime transport, which a UN committee has proposed despite opposition from India and other developing countries. "EU-ETS is key to reduce huge emissions from these sector (aviation and maritime) not covered by any national law," Lienen said.

Binding emission cuts:
Russia wants a graduation scheme introduced in the UN climate convention which will automatically put countries with rising emissions such as India and China into the annex-I grade of nations, who have mandatory emission reduction targets.

The proposal which has support of United States and Europe is seen stiff opposition of India and China, which has ruled out review of the convention. "That is not an issue of discussion," Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

On the other track, European Union wants emerging economies such as India and China to take mandatory emission reducton targets latest by 2020.

"Big economies should not try to buy time and should act in a time-frame," European Union's climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

EU also wants that in the Durban outcome there should be a link between second commitment period to Kyoto Protocol, world's only climate treaty and having a new legally binding agreement by 2015.

US although does not support a legally binding treaty like India but wants mandatory emission cuts comparable to existing emissions for emerging economies such as India and China.

"We have no quarel with India on legally binding issue. I think conditions are not ripe for that sort of agreement," said US special envoy on climate change Todd Stern.