BASIC countries including China, India, Brazil and South Africa have jointly expressed objection to European Union' s carbon tax on airlines flying into Europe during the 10th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change concluded here Tuesday.
In a joint statement, the four countries expressed deep concern and reiterated firm opposition to the inclusions of international aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
The statement said that the European Union' s carbon tax " violates international law including the principles and provisions of UNFCCC and runs counter to multilateral."
"Ministers noted that the unilateral action by EU in the name of climate change was taken despite strong international opposition and would seriously jeopardize the international efforts to combat climate change."
The statement also noted "similar unilateral measures being considered in the area of international shipping by developed countries in the name of Climate Change and expressed concern."
China's chief climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said, "After EU' s proposal, China has been approaching them at different levels but it continues to be stubborn", Xie said, "We will united all like- minded countries to take strong actions opposing it and protect non-EU countries' rights."
India's Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan criticized the EU carbon tax as "a unilateral trade measures disguised and taken in the name of climate change".
The meeting also reviewed the outcomes of the climate change talks in Durban and welcomed in particular the agreement on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The ministers regretted that Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol within a few days after the conclusion of the Durban Conference and reiterated that unresolved issues such as equity must remain part of the negotiation agenda.
The meeting is the first major international meeting of any group of countries since December 2011 after the Durban talks, which saw countries agreeing to negotiate a new climate agreement by 2015 that will come into force by 2020.
Qatar, Swaziland, Singapore and Algeria have also participated in the discussion in line with "BASIC-plus" approach.
The next BASIC Ministerial Meeting on climate change will be hosted by South Africa in the second quarter of 2012.