India, Others Weigh Joint Action Against EU Air Tax Proposal

Nations opposed to the European Union's new ruling on carbon emissions are meeting early next month to discuss retaliatory action, a top Indian government official has said.

The meeting may take place either in Delhi or in the Russian capital, Moscow and will discuss a joint plan against the EU measures which have angered most countries of the world.

Last year, the European Union imposed a carbon emissions tax on all airlines flying into the continent in an effort to control carbon dioxide emissions that are blamed for an increase in global temperatures. The proposal makes it mandatory for airlines flying into its airspace to buy carbon credits equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by their aircraft starting January 2012. Airlines don't have to pay on a daily but an annual accumulated basis.

"All nations opposed to the tax may plan to respond in phases or a graded manner. However, this joint action has the potential to develop into a trade war. It is bound to have repercussions on the WTO as well," the government official said.

He declined to give details but one of the retaliatory measures could include curbs on European airlines flying out of their home countries to destinations in the east.

The EU ETS has been criticized by a lot of government's across the globe, who says that it is unfair to unilaterally impose a tax without taking the consent of rest of the world, making the move inconsistent with international law. Industry experts do not think that the ETS is an effective way to keep emissions caused by airlines in control and are opposed to the measure.