India is among the 16 countries that have been invited to attend a US-led initiative to decide on what action should be taken at the global level against the imposition of the European Union-Emission Trading System.

Under the system, which came into effect from January 1, the 27-member European Union asked all the international airlines flying in and out of the region to meet a specific carbon emission requirement, failing which they would have to pay tax.

Official sources told Business Line that a delegation drawn from the Ministries of External Affairs, Environment and Civil Aviation will attend the two-day event which gets underway in Washington on July 31.

“The US feels that the EU-ETS violates territorial sovereignty and goes against accepted international practices,” official sources said.

Several countries, including China, Russia, the US and India, have already opposed the imposition of the EU-ETS. China has gone a step further and threatened to cancel and also not place any more order with European aircraft manufacturers.

To register its protest, India has asked its airlines not to submit the data that is being sought by the EU.

India also plans to take other steps, including imposing sanctions on European carriers operating to India.

The seriousness of the situation can be probably gauged by the fact that the International Air Transport Association has also warned that some countries may be on the brink of launching a retaliatory trade war against the EU decision to include air travel in the emission trading scheme.

(This article was published on July 9, 2012)
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