India threatens to scuttle climate talks over EU tax

April 12, 2012

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme is "a deal-breaker" for global climate change talks, India's environment minister said, hardening her stance on a scheme that has drawn fierce opposition from non-EU governments, according to media reports today.

"I shall stick my neck out and say, for the environment ministry, yes the unilateral measure by the EU... is a deal breaker for the talks," Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters in New Delhi.

"I strongly believe that as far as climate change discussions are concerned, this is unacceptable," said the environment minister, who is India's negotiating leader at global climate change talks.

Natarajan, speaking at a function organized by the Energy Resources Institute, said she had written a letter to EU Commissioner for Climate Change Connie Hedegaard demanding a reversal of the carbon tax.

Her statements were the toughest by India so far on the EU plan.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, dismissed the minister's warning and stressed that the system in place since January 1 seeks to encourage others to do the same in their countries.

"We know the Indian minister's position. It is not new," said Isaac Valero Ladron, Hedegaard's spokesman, said.