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BASIC nations oppose proposed carbon emission taxes in airline industry

NEW DELHI: The BASIC countries - Brazil, South Africa, India and China - are opposed to any move of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to propose carbon emission tax on airlines in the garb of offsetting emission in the aviation sector as they believe that the step would impose inappropriate economic burden on developing countries.

The sense emerged here during the two-day ministerial meeting of the BASIC group that on Thursday also expressed its concerns over the recent draft proposal of the ICAO which is planning to cap the aviation sector's emission through introducing a market-based mechanism.

Though the aviation was not included in the Paris climate agreement that was adopted by 195 countries in December last year, the ICAO is scheduled to meet in September to finalise such taxation regime.

Referring to such move, Union environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said, "We are opposed to any such proposal of developed countries to bring such tax in a different name in the airline sector...(Uski Khilafat Hamne Ki Hai)".

Javadekar, who represented India in the BASIC group meeting, said, "It (the move) will impose inappropriate economic burden on developing countries. We have, therefore, asked the ICAO that it must develop global market measures (to curb emission in aviation sector) that must align with the spirit of the Paris Agreement".

Under the Paris climate agreement, all the countries are supposed to take measures voluntarily as per their national climate action plans that they had submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat. The agreement does not talk about emission cuts in the aviation sector.

Flagging the issue, the BASIC group also mentioned the ICAO's proposed move in its joint statement on Thursday. It said, "The BASIC countries expressed concern that the draft proposal on Global Market Based Measures (GMBM) under the ICAO may impose inappropriate economic burden on developing countries, where the international aviation market is still maturing.

"They urged the ICAO to develop climate change measures in a manner that is consistent with the principles of CBDR & RC, and to align the GMBM with the relevant provisions of the Paris Agreement".

The BASIC nations met here ahead of the formal signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement which is to take place in New York on April 22. It was the first meeting of the group after adoption of the agreement. All the four BASIC nations along with nearly 100 other countries, including the US, will sign the Agreement on April 22.

Besides Javadekar, the meeting here was attended by the China's special representative for climate change, Xie Zhenhua; Brazil's under secretary-general for environment, energy, science and technology, Antonio Marcondes and South Africa's Chief Director, International Climate Change Relations and Negotiations, Maesela Kekana.

Ministers later through joint statement urged developed countries "to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion per year by 2020".

The BASIC nations also urged the developed countries to take their pre-2020 actions. The joint statement said, "Ministers reiterated the importance of pre-2020 actions in building trust amongst the Parties (countries) and noted with concern the pending ratification by many Annex I Parties of the Doha Amendment, which establishes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

"They urged Annex I Parties to both ratify and revisit pledges of Quantified Emission Limitation and Reduction Objectives (QELROs) to close the emission gap. They also emphasized that raising pre-2020 ambition on other pillars of the Convention (viz. adaptation, finance and technology and capacity building support) will pave the way for the implementation of the Paris Agreement".

 

Apr 7, 2016, Times of India