India to urge airlines to boycott EU carbon charge scheme

India would urge its airlines to boycott the EU's carbon charge scheme, a move that could trigger a global trade war over a law requiring flights in and out of Europe to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Reuters quoted a senior government official saying the country would soon ask local airlines not to buy carbon credits from or share emissions data with the EU, which maintains that other countries are not doing enough to tackle the source of greenhouse gases.

In February, China said its airlines were barred from participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) unless they got government approval. In a retaliatory move, Beijing has also suspended the purchase of $14 billion worth of jets from European maker Airbus.

Though India had no plans to follow the Chinese line and cancel Airbus purchases at the moment, it reamined a possibility if the dispute escalated, the report quoted the official.

If the European Commission then did not allow Indian airlines to fly to Europe, India would resort to similar moves and consider charging an "unreasonable" amount for flying over India, the official said on yesterday.

The report said there were several measures that could be taken if the EU did not go back on its demands. The official said that India had the power of the economy and was not bleeding like they were. He added that Europe's position would harm its own economy and airlines.