Strange times for Europe’s aviation carbon tax

The whole global climate negotiation process is a bit of a sideshow, in that negotiators don’t have the freedom to actually agree to anything meaningful. When they head to Poznan, or Copenhagen, or Durban, they get their briefings from finance and economic ministries, not environment ministries. The mandates are evidently that there’s no way most countries will agree to anything like the significant emissions cuts needed to achieve stabilization.

That’s particularly clear at the moment, with Europe imposing a carbon fee on flights using their airspace, and facing broad opposition. And what opponent makes the biggest headlines? India’s environment minister – possibly the person on the planet who should be happiest to see any kind of meaningful emissions policy anywhere.

Clearly, climate is not driving the bus.