EU warns Indian carriers on carbon emission data

Written by parul | Parul Chhaparia | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2012, 05:30am hrs
With the deadline for domestic carriers to submit their carbon emission data with European Union (EU) ending on Saturday, the tussle between the government of India and the EU has turned murkier.

Both of them are threatening to take strong actions against each other in case of implementationnon-implementation of the proposed levy on the carbon emission by every airline. According to a civil aviation ministry official, the directorate general (environment), European Commission, who was here to re-discuss the matter with the aviation ministry, has warned that Indian carriers might be barred from flying to Europe in case they dont submit their carbon emission data.

We have also told them very clearly that there would reciprocal action if they do that. We have already given a list of actions that would be taken up if they force us to follow this policy, a senior aviation ministry official, who was part of the meeting, said the official.

The ministry has also taken up the matter with Cabinet Secretariat and briefed them about the possible actions which includes, formulating new legislation to prohibit airlineaircraft operator of a particular state to participate in the EU-ETS (European Union-Emission Trading System), suspension of current, future negotiations on enhancing the operating rights of EU airlines, and imposing additional charges on EU carriers.

We can not let them impost such levy on us. They are trying to convince us about it but we have said a complete no to it, the official said.

The EU has imposed a carbon emission tax on air travel effective from January 2012. While most of the countries have opposed this levy, India and China have made the strongest pitch against such move. Last week, the aviation minister Ajit Singh had said that though the European Union has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by March 31, 2012, no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government.

Even the European carriers like Lufthansa, Air France and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have written letters to EU leader to withdraw such tax, which would make the air travel more costly. Lufthansa has already said that the tax would incur an additional expenses of $130 million in 2012 and that would be passed on to passengers through higher ticket prices.