India and other countries to meet in Moscow to decide on EU carbon tax move

India, Russia, the US, China and other countries are to meet in Moscow later this month to decide on whether to introduce retaliatory measures against the European Union (EU) on its 'unilateral' decision to impose carbon tax on air travel.

It is learnt that an EU delegation was given a strong message in which the Indian side is said to have taken a hard stance on the issue. The EU delegation was led by commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard yesterday.

The EU tax came into effect from 1 January, and according to 26 countries, including India, Russia, China and US, which are jointly opposing the move, it was ''inconsistent with the international legal regimes''.

MoneyLife magazine citing official sources said over 30 countries would meet in Moscow on 21 and  22 February to decide on the retaliatory measures to be taken against the EU if it insisted on imposing the carbon tax on non-EU flights given the ''growing agreement'' on the matter.

The magazine, quoting unnamed sources, said only if India, Russia and China decided to start charging for over-flights by European carriers or decided to restrict the number of flights being operated by them on emission concerns, it could have a devastating effect on the European airline industry.

At the meeting held last September in the capital a 'Delhi Declaration' was unanimously adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council and other non-EU member sates that opposed EU's plan to include all flights by non-EU carriers to and from an airport in the EU territory in its emissions trading system.