India forbids its air carriers to provide data that assists EU carbon tax

2012 03 27

INDIA has forbidden airlines to comply with the European Union carbon tax, joining China in barring its airlines from paying or providing tax need in tax collection, reports Agence France-Presse.

Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the "imposition of carbon tax does not arise" because Indian airlines will refuse to disclose emissions data, upon which the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is based.

"Though the European Union has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by March 31, no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government," said Mr Singh.

India and China have said the EU tax is a unilateral trade levy disguised as an attempt to fight climate change. China has also ordered its air carriers to not buy long-haul European made Airbus aircraft, having recently told Hainan Group-owned Hong Kong Airlines from continuing with such a purchase.

Airbus CEO Thomas Enders called for a freeze on the EU tax, saying that it would otherwise cost thousands of jobs. "Delay it, freeze it for one or two years," he said, according to Dow Jones, adding that the scheme "will do nothing but induce strife, retaliation and counter-retaliation."

But the EU climate change bureaucracy holds fast to their plan, having been backed up by the European High Court that quashed a US plea. Bureaucrats insist that the cost to airlines is manageable. Earlier this month the head of the Airbus parent company EADS said Beijing had already begun to block purchases of Airbus planes by Chinese companies in reaction to the dispute.

A key objection is that the EU scheme does not limit itself to taxing carbon emissions over EU airspace, but for the whole flight. European climate change officials say this is not unusual because conditions are often imposed on flight by one country and enforced in another, citing the American demand that passengers remove shoes for inspection before boarding on US-bound flights as an example.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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