(Reuters) - A group of 26 countries vehemently opposed to the EU's aviation emissions trading scheme will meet in Moscow on February 21 to discuss a plan of action, EU and Indian sources told Reuters on Monday.
The governments, which include Russia, India, China and the U.S., claim an EU law forcing all airlines touching down or taking off within the bloc to pay for their CO2 emissions from last month is discriminatory and illegal, and some are prohibiting their carriers from complying.
They argue the scheme violates the Chicago Convention on international aviation as well as some provisions under the World Trade Organisation.
The group last met for a two-day meeting in New Delhi in late September 2011, where it issued a joint declaration against the scheme and agreed to lodge a formal protest with the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
But that remonstration has since been overshadowed by a December ruling by the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, which found that the EU plan was within international law.
The EU said in the absence of a global effort to curb aircraft emissions, it will not back down from putting a price on carbon needed to guard against future climate impacts such as crop failures, droughts and flooding.
But China on Monday threatened to bar its airlines from abiding by what it calls a unilateral trade barrier, hardening its stance days before an EU-China summit at which European leaders will seek help to ease the region's debt crisis.
(Reporting By Barbara Lewis in Brussels and Krittivas Mukherjee in New Delhi, Writing by Michael Szabo)