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EU carbon row may hit India carriers

india Updated: Jan 23, 2012 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent

Indian airliners who refuse to provide carbon norms to the European Union (EU) under the latter’s new emissions trading scheme could lose flying rights to the continent, said Joao Cravinho, head of the EU mission in India.

He also said India had taken the lead in opposing this tax given that its “relatively young fleet” of planes was well below “the world average” when it came to emissions — implying they would probably not have to pay anything.

The EU’s extension of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) to airplanes flying into the continent would require polluting airplanes, generally older varieties, to pay a tax per passenger for the emissions they paid. “This would only come to $2 to 4 dollars per person,” said Cravinho.

India has joined the United States, China, Russia and other countries in opposing the EU’s decision. India sees it as a unilateral move that would set a priecedent for Brussels and other governments to impose other “green taxes” on cross-border services and trade in goods.

India has advised the airlines not provide the necessary carbon data to the EU, leading Cravinho to warn that this could result in their being disallowed from flying to the EU.

“Changing this system is not on the table right now,” he said, explaining that the civil aviation ETS was not a commission directive but legislation passed by the European Parliament. “There is no support for changing this.”

He admitted that there was “space” in the legislation because it allowed “exemptions for equivalent measures”. But said “equivalent measures” in the carbon area had yet to be defined.