* EU gives Indian, Chinese airlines until mid-June to report
* More than 1,200 airlines have complied, including U.S.
* U.N. body to meet in June to assess progress on global
(Adds details of missed deadline, paragraph 5)
By Barbara Lewis
BRUSSELS, May 15 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 threats not to comply, 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.
She did not identify the Indian and Chinese airlines that
failed to meet a March 31 deadline to report their emissions.
The Commission, the EU's executive arm, has the option of
fining airlines that break its law, or even, as a last resort,
banning repeat offenders from flying to Europe.
To reduce tension, the Commission has looked to the United
Nations' International Civil Aviation Administration (ICAO) to
come up with a global approach to curbing emissions from
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 in
February, 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.
(Additional reporting by Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi; editing by