Hardening its stand against a European Union (EU) plan to tax airlines on the basis of carbon emissions beginning next year, 26 countries including India, US and China, have strongly protested against the move with some even proposing to stop flights to Europe.
A meeting of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council and non-EU member states on inclusion of aviation in EU-Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), hosted by India for past two days, expressed concern over the EU-ETS measures, which it said "were inconsistent with the international legal regimes".
"A draft demarche (an official protest conveying concern at the government's level) to be sent to the EU bilaterally by the nations was also discussed in which it was highlighted that the EUs approach under the directive is unacceptable," said a statement issued by the aviation ministry.
Senior ministry officials told Hindustan Times that each of the participating countries would be issuing demarches to EU on the issue.
India had officially protested to EU on this issue a few months back as the move could hit local carriers, which fly to Europe, as they would need to pay taxes for landing in and taking off from European airports based on the type of aircraft, which in turn would lead to increase in airfare by as much as $50-250.
Under the ETS, airlines using EU airspace will have to pay a fee for carbon emissions that exceed a set cap.
The meeting, chaired by aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi, noted that the EU-ETS measures violated the Chicago Convention governing international aviation as also provisions of the WTO.
A Joint Declaration adopted opposed EU's plan to include all flights by non-EU carriers to/ from an airport in the territory of an EU member state in its emissions trading system.