Calling it ‘injustice to developing world’, Centre says the already struggling aviation sector doesn’t need additional burden.
BRIC nations have opposed the International Civil Aviation Authority’s (ICAO) proposal to levy carbon emission tax on airlines, saying it will increase the burden on emerging economies such as India, where the aviation sector was still developing.
ICAO – a United Nations specialised agency established in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation — has proposed that all airlines join a global scheme to cut carbon emissions. Though aviation was not included in the Paris climate agreement that was adopted by 195 countries in December last year, ICAO is scheduled to meet in September to finalise a taxation regime.
India has found support in Brazil, South Africa and China – the four countries have come together to form a group called BASIC – with a commitment to act jointly to ensure their voice is heard by the developed nations. During a two-day meeting of BASIC in Delhi earlier this month, all four nations decided to oppose the carbon emission tax on airlines.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the ICAO proposal as a “bad move” and an injustice to the developing world. “Indians have a right to fly too, and that would be affected if such a regressive tax is imposed,” he said.
A senior official from the Civil Aviation Ministry who is working closely on India’s response to ICAO’s taxation proposal, told Mumbai Mirror, “The proposal does not reflect the principle of what had been agreed to in Paris. If implemented, it will lead to an imposition of yet another tax on flights which airlines will end up recovering from passengers.”
Javadekar said, “We are opposed to any proposal from the developed countries to bring such tax in a different name in the airline sector. Under the Paris climate agreement, all the countries are supposed to take measures voluntarily as per their national climate action plans and we too will do that.”
Pushing for the emission tax, the ICAO proposal says that air travel accounts for roughly five per cent of man-made carbon emissions, and its climate impact keeps increasing. If global aviation was a country, its emissions would be ranked about seventh, between Germany and South Korea, on carbon dioxide alone, a study revealed.