EVEN AS it decided to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, India on Wednesday rejected a proposal that seeks to ensure that emissions from international aviation do not rise from 2020.
Conveying decisions taken by the Union Cabinet, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said the proposal put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was not acceptable to India, or the three other BASIC countries — Brazil, South Africa and China.
“There is an attempt to cap the emissions in civil aviation (sector) by 2020. That is the proposal and we said that for the developing world, the proposal is unfair…. When it (Indian economy) is growing, you cannot cap our emissions from aviation…. A cap by 2020 will be injustice,” he said.
The aviation sector accounts for about 2 per cent of global emissions, of which nearly 1.3 per cent comes from international aviation. While emissions from domestic aviation is counted in each country’s overall emissions, and attributed to them, those from international aviation, as also international maritime transport, are left unattended. For this reason, emissions from international aviation are being sought to be dealt with separately, outside of the Paris Agreement, through ICAO, a UN agency overseeing global aviation.
The trouble with ICAO’s proposal is that it involves ‘market-based mechanisms’ to adhere to its “aspirational” objective of not allowing aviation emissions to rise beyond 2020. It would mean that airlines that do not follow the prescribed norms could be taxed, or asked to “offset” their extra emissions by buying credits from other well-performing airlines. Such measures could make the poorly performing airlines uncompetitive.
Fifty-nine countries, accounting for 81 per cent of international aviation activity, are agreed to the proposal.
Javadekar said there were other “technological” ways of dealing with aviation emissions.