European Union (EU) plans to put a charge on carbon emissions from airlines are discriminatory and inconsistent with global laws, a meeting of a UN aviation body and non-EU member nations has agreed, an Indian government statement said on Friday.
The Indian government, which has hosted a two-day meeting in New Delhi, said the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council and other non-EU member states also agreed to lodge a formal protest with the 27-nation bloc.
The meeting that ended Friday was attended by representatives from 25 countries, including the United States, China, Canada, Russia and South Africa.
The EU says it needs to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions to guard against future climate impacts such as crop failures, droughts or flooding. It aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels over the next decade.
From January 2012, airlines flying to or from Europe will have to buy permits from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for 15 percent of the carbon emissions they produce during the entire flight. They join 11,000 factories and power plants already in the scheme.
There was wide concern expressed by all countries present, without exception, that the unilaterally imposed EU-ETS measures were inconsistent with the international legal regimes, the statement said.
The legal infirmities in the EU laws were pointed out. It was stated by the various delegates that they were also discriminatory (to) carriers.
Critics say the scheme will penalise Asian airlines in particular because of the long distances to Europe.
U.S. airlines stepped up their campaign against European Union climate policy on Tuesday, challenging the EU in its highest court over the right to regulate their greenhouse gas emissions.
Other international carriers have
been vocal critics of the plan to include aviation in the bloc's $120 billion trading scheme.
China has blocked a purchase of Airbus A380 aircraft at the Paris air show in June in retaliation at the EU measures, according to industry sources , adding to fears of a brewing trade war .
Steelmakers are also unhappy about the way they have been included in the EU's carbon market and have started legal action.