India will not commit to reducing emissions in the civil aviation sector by 2020 as such a move will be doing “injustice” to the country’s growing economy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.
Asserting that the government is committed to reduce emissions in the sector over a longer period of time, Javadekar made it clear that India would not be part of the proposed Global Market-Based Measures (GMBM) which are being discussed at the ongoing ICAO assembly in Montreal.
GMBM, mooted by UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), seeks to reduce carbon emission in the aviation sector.
“There is an attempt to bring a cap on 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 (economy) is growing, you cannot cap our emissions from aviation... A cap by 2020 will be injustice,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after the Union Cabinet meeting which also discussed the GMBM issue, the Minister said the government wants to have “less and less (civil) aviation emissions”.
However, Javadekar said such a thing cannot be put in place within a short period of time for countries where manufacturing has to improve and more fuel efficiency has to be brought in.
“There are more scientific ways to deal with it. We have not reached the stage of the developed world... We cannot put a stop to our growth and therefore we have decided to put India’s viewpoints very strongly,” the HRD Minister said.
A government spokesperson said Wednesday’s Cabinet approval of India’s position on GMBM would enable finalisation of the negotiation strategy in the 39th Assembly of ICAO, which is underway in Montreal, Canada.
“This will help India to bargain for the possible flexibility out of the proposed GMBM scheme,” the spokesperson said in a series of tweets.
Javadekar, who earlier headed the Environment Ministry, said the government would have sectoral targets, including for civil aviation, up to 2030.
“We are okay with reducing emissions, using modern technologies but it cannot be forced on BASIC countries and India is at a growing stage,” he noted.
Earlier this year, India along with other members of BASIC grouping had expressed their opposition to GMBM. Brazil, South Africa and China are also members of this group.
“As you all know, when BASIC Ministers met in Delhi, we opposed the global market-based mechanism as far as aviation is concerned because we are growing economy, we are emerging economy and our aviation (sector) is growing,” Javadekar said.
In September 2013, ICAO took a decision to develop a GMBM scheme to limit CO2 emissions in the aviation sector.
It is to be implemented by way of participants offsetting their CO2 emissions above an agreed level by carbon emission trading.