World Bulletin / News Desk
A total of 10 Chinese and Indian commercial airlines have broken EU law requiring them to offset their carbon emissions, while all other international carriers flying to or from Europe have complied, the European Union's climate chief said on Tuesday.
The EU law demanding all airlines participate in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has prompted outcry and threats of a trade war.
But only eight Chinese and two Indian airlines have delivered on opposition, while more than 1,200 airlines have met the EU's requirements.
"We have given them (India and China) until mid-June to report back their data," EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told a news briefing.
The Commission, the EU's executive arm, has the option of fining airlines that break its law, or even banning repeat offenders from flying to Europe, although this would be a last resort.
To reduce tension, the Commission has looked to the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Administration (ICAO) to come up with a global approach to curbing emissions from airlines.
The body is expected to meet next month to review progress.
"We are using a lot of time and energy in trying to ensure a global solution through ICAO," Hedegaard said. "Nobody would be happier than the EU if it could achieve (that)."
The Commission has said it only decided on its plan after more than a decade of talks at the ICAO failed to agree on a global scheme to combat rising carbon emissions. It has also said it would modify its law if ICAO can deliver a deal.
Fines for offenders
Penalties for breaking the EU law start at 100 euros ($130) per tonne of carbon airlines fail to pay for, while the cost of compliance is estimated at about 2 euros per passenger for a flight from Shanghai to Frankfurt.
Opponents of the law accuse the European Union of imposing an extra-territorial tax and say it sets a dangerous precedent.
More than 20 nations opposed to the scheme grouped together in a "coalition of the unwilling". They last met in Moscow, when they agreed possible retaliatory measures and said they would meet again in Saudi Arabia, although a date has not been confirmed.
"You cannot enforce laws outside your sovereign area. Its implications are huge," Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told Reuters last week.
"Now you are talking about aviation, tomorrow you will talk about shipping. ICAO is there, these things will have be done in a multilateral basis."
The EU's highest court, the EU Court of Justice, ruled in December last year that the law was valid and did not breach international treaties. It also agreed with the Commission that the ETS was a market-based mechanism, not a tax.
Weak carbon market
The cost of carbon allowances on the EU ETS has fallen to record lows, pressured by oversupply following economic recession.
On Tuesday, carbon prices were trading at below 7 euros a tonne - far below levels needed to spur low carbon investment.
Hedegaard said in April that the Commission was reviewing its carbon auctioning timetable to try to reduce oversupply in the market.
She expected news on the review before the Commission breaks for its August recess, with a legal decision expected before the end of the year.
Changing the auctioning timetable to limit supply in the nearer term - or "backloading" - was a relatively quick solution, but other options under discussion, including setting aside allowances, could take longer.
"We should not expect backloading will do the whole trick. That's a first step, which does not take a lot of time. The more structural things are a more complicated process," Hedegaard said.
Summit is expected to provide member states with opportunity to consult, exchange views on the most important issues concerning them in the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum
Slowdown in Chinese economy, rising oil stocks in US, and oversupply from OPEC are all factors making price of oil lower
'World is more connected than ever before. More and more developing countries are seeking to join global trade networks,' WTO director-general says
European Central Bank is ready to use ‘all instruments available’ to stimulate the eurozone economy, Draghi says
Kazakhstan has overtaken Australia as the lead supplier of uranium for US reactors.
Depreciation of emerging market currencies, combined with low commodities prices, have made investors around the globe nervous
Global growth at further risk from Chinese asset price deflation, and US interest rate increases, Moody's says
Traders fear Chinese government will withdraw support measures markets
European Commission president 'convinced' three-year plan will boost investment in EU
Deal aims to bolster fight against tax fraud through exchange of financial information on Turks holding accounts in US and vice versa
Vessels were delivered to port of Alexandria on June 17
The economic cost of violence according to the 2015 Global Peace Index has reached a staggering $14.3 trillion with Syria the least peaceful country.
The leading opposition lawmaker has said that Turkish President Erdogan is open to all possiblities for a coalition.
Qatar has filed a lawsuit against the leader of the National Front in France for his comments regarding "terror" activities.
Saudi Arabia will put in place an electronic bracelet system for all pilgrims visiting the country to perform their Hajj duties.
After U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates, European stock markets fall.