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'EU aviation tax deal breaker in climate change talks'

Delhi,Environment/Wildlife, Wed, 11 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) A carbon tax imposed by the European Union (EU) on flights landing in the Eurozone is unacceptable and is a deal breaker in climate change talks, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said Wednesday.


Such unilateral measures in the guise of climate change were unacceptable, Natarajan said at an event organised by The Energy Research Institute (TERI).


"For environment ministry, it (EU aviation cap) is a deal breaker because you simply cannot bring this into the climate change and impose such disguised trade measures in the name of climate change," Natarajan said.


She said India had raised the issue in various international fora but EU was sticking to it.


"I have written a very strong letter to the EU commissioner and raised it at various national and international fora. I believe as far as climate change discussions are concerned, this is unacceptable," she said.


EU's proposal to cap planet-warming gases under its emission trading system makes it mandatory for airlines flying into its airspace to buy carbon credits equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by their aircraft.


India has asked national carriers to not submit emission details to the EU, which was demanded by March 31, 2012.


Despite opposition from over two dozen countries, including the India, US, Australia, Russia and China, the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) came into force on Jan 1.


It levies a charge on flights in EU airspace based on emissions but creates carbon allowances which airlines can cap and trade. No carrier will have to pay a bill until 2013, after this year's carbon emissions have been assessed.


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