The controversial carbon tax might be suspended for a year on flights to and from non-European nations. This is the proposal given by EU executive during a general meeting on Friday of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard suggested that possible waiver of this tax would be in the interest of negotiating a global CO2 deal, also referred to as “market based mechanism”. As she states, many countries are prepared to move in ICAO because not all approve the current scheme. She proposes that the tax is frozen until the upcoming ICAO general assembly in 2013, and in case the assembly fails to move forward, then the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation would be applied in full again as from 2013.
The ETS was imposed on 1st of January, although many countries including Russia, China, The U.S and India are certain it is against the international law.
Hedegaard still stands behind the legislation. She adds that the regulatory scheme is designed to limit the carbon emissions that are responsible for climate change, and it was adopted a lot later than initially planned due to anticipated progress of ICAO. Furthermore, it will aid the EU to achieve the goal of cutting carbon emissions with 20% by year 2020. Although airlines estimated that it will cost 17.5 billion euros ($21.2 billion) over eight years, EU officials believe it is manageable and adds not more than 24 euros to the price of a long distance trips.
India and China are amongst the strongest opponents of the scheme. In April, India joined China in the resistance against EU carbon fee by barring its airlines from complying with it.