UPDATE 4-Foes of EU airline CO2 rules agree on tactics

Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:56pm GMT

* Countries' options include barring airline participation

* Russian hosts among those considering ETS ban

* EU, IATA look to U.N. organization for global solution (Adds U.S. comment, paragraphs 3, 14-15)

By Jennifer Rankin

MOSCOW, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Countries opposed to an EU law forcing the world's airlines to pay for greenhouse gas emissions agreed on a basket of retaliatory measures, adding to a series of threats that have raised the prospect of the globe's first carbon trade war.

But the EU dismissed the threats as "hypothetical" and Russia's deputy transport minister also said the countries -- which include China, India and the United States -- were free to choose which of them they would actually use.

In Washington, the State Department said it would be "premature" to discuss specific retaliatory measures and voiced hope that the European Union would reconsider its carbon emissions scheme.

The array of potential steps include barring national airlines from participating in the EU program, lodging a formal complaint with the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ceasing talks with European carriers on new routes and imposing retaliatory levies on EU airlines.

"Every state will choose the most effective and reliable measures that will help to cancel or postpone the implementation of the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System)," Valery Okulov, whose ministry hosted the meeting attended by more than 20 nations, told a news conference.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.