India has got support of China, Brazil and South Africa, together called Basic, to counter European Union’s carbon tax on airlines flying into Europe.
The union had imposed a tax under its domestic emission trading scheme on international flights from January this year. It could result in passengers having to bear up to 10 Euros extra per ticket.
Environment ministers and climate negotiators from Basic countries, which met in Delhi, said the Europe’s decision violated international law including the principles of climate convention.
“European Union should abolish the tax as it is against United Nation’s multi-laterialism,” said Xie Zhenhua, head of Chinese delegation at UN’s climate talks. China’s air regulator has already debarred its air carriers from paying charges or other fees to European Union without government permission.
Zhenhua said the Basic countries were united in opposing European tax and will approach other like minded countries to put up a joint front.
Indian environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said this unilateral trade measures under the guide of climate change was not acceptable. “Such unilateral measures will jeopardize international efforts to fight climate change,” a joint statement of Basic countries said.
The meeting also cleared air over whether equity would be part of the new climate regime to be finalised by 2015 and ratified by 2020 under Durban platform.
“The Durban platform will be under the principles of the (UN climate) convention and in full accordance with all its principles, in particular equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities,” the statement issued after two days of meetings said.
There were reports the equity and CBDR had been buried in the Durban platform which the climate negotiators of Basic countries said were not based on facts.
But, these principles have different meaning for different countries. European climate commissioner Connie Heedegard in first week of February said that CBDR meant that countries have to take emission cuts as per their economic growth. India and China says only rich nations are required to reduce emissions and the developing world have to take voluntary climate mitigation actions.
The ministers regretted Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol and hoped that countries, which are not part of the protocol, should take comparable emission reduction targets as other rich nations, who are part of the protocol.