NEW DELHI: India, China and other major developing economies today attacked European Union saying the bloc's "unilateral" decision to levy charges on international flights "in the name of climate change" would "seriously jeopardise" efforts to fight global warming.
Talking tough on the issue of EU's Emission Trading Scheme during their 10th meeting on Climate Change here, Environment Ministers of the BASIC countries - Brazil, South Africa, India and China- noted that the measure on aviation sector "violates international law including the principles and provisions of UNFCCC and runs counter to multilateralism".
"Ministers noted that the unilateral action by EU in the name of climate change was taken despite strong international opposition and would seriously jeopardise the international efforts to combat climate change," said a joint statement issued by the the BASIC group at the conclusion of the two-day meeting.
The Ministers-- Jayanthi Natarajan (India), Xie Zhenhua (China), Francisco Gaetani (Brazil) and Alfred James Wills (South Africa)-- also "recognised the threat of similar unilateral measures being considered by developed countries in the name of climate change in the area of international shipping" and expressed their concern.
"We strongly oppose the unilateral decision taken by the EU in the name of climate change," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters.
Addressing the media, Chinese Minister Xie said the 27- nation bloc's "unilateral action" is a "severe breach" of several international laws including that of International Civil Aviation Organisation and expressed hope that they would "abolish" the carbon trading scheme.
The controversial European Union Emissions Trading Scheme requires all airlines, including Indian, using airports in EU to pay a tax for their greenhouse gas emissions.
India, Russia, the US, China and other countries would meet in Moscow later this month to decide on whether to take retaliatory measures against EU on its "unilateral" decision to impose carbon tax on air travel.