India has joined China in prohibiting their airlines from paying the carbon tax that the European Union (EU) is demanding on flights to Europe.
All airlines using airports in the EU became subject to paying the carbon emissions tax in January, although the actual payments are not due until next year. Airlines which exceed emission limits as mandated by the EU are required to pay the penalty.
The EU had imposed the tax in connection with its overall plan to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020.
China has already vowed to boycott the tax, while the U.S. and Russia have also objected to the scheme, despite a ruling by the European Court of Justice last December that such a levy is completely legal and in accordance with international laws.
In connection with its refusal to pay the tax, the Chinese government also cancelled a $14 billion contract to purchase aircraft from Airbus, the European plane manufacturer. Moreover, the Indian government said that its carriers will not release carbon emission figures to the EU.
“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,” India’s civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, said in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament in New Delhi, according to The Hindu newspaper.
Hence the imposition of carbon tax does not arise.
Singh also said that the Indian government has at its disposal a basket of measures to block the EU’s demands.