India may oppose EU threat to fine Air India, Jet Airways
New Delhi: India is likely to oppose the reported European Union threat to impose fines on Air India and Jet Airways for not accepting EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) and not reporting their emissions over European sky, officials said Friday.
Only these two Indian carriers, which fly to Europe, are likely to be slapped a total fine of around Euros 30,000, while eight Chinese carriers could face fines totalling Euros 2.4 million euros, they said.
Refusing to be cowed down to the EU threat, the officials, requesting anonymity, said the two Indian carriers operate a total of about 5-6 flights a day, while their European counterparts together operated 30-40 daily flights to India. On top of this, several European carriers overfly India for which they require permission.
The officials said India had the option of taking counter-measures which could "prove costly for European carriers." Indian airlines also have major aircraft orders from European firms like Airbus and its parent company EADS, which constitute Europe's most important exports.
India had last year joined Russia, China, the US and about 18 other major countries in opposing EU-ETS. India and China had also asked their airlines not to participate in a permit system that entitled them and other producers of greenhouse gases like a steel factory, to emit greenhouse gases by paying for the right to emit them.
Officials said India and several other nations, which are major aviation nations, have been opposing EU-ETS as it was "ultra vires and went counter to the provisions of the (UN body) International Civil Aviation Organisation."
In a statement in Parliament in March, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had said, "India considers the steps taken by the EU as a unilateral measure and in violation of the Chicago Convention and the provisions of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"The government has expressed its serious concerns to the European Union on this unilateral measure both at multilateral and bilateral level."
During the past two years, India, Russia, China and the US have hosted meetings of officials of all countries opposed to EU-ETS programme where resolutions have been unanimously adopted and plans of action charted out.