The major parties have come together to attack the European Union’s (EU) controversial carbon tax on international airlines.
The Labor government on Thursday backed a strongly worded motion by Nationals leader Warren Truss, which noted widespread international opposition to the tax.
The main complaint is that the levy is being calculated on a plane’s carbon emissions over its entire flight, not just its travel in Europe.
The motion called on Australia to “use all political, diplomatic and legal tools at its disposal” to ensure the EU’s emissions trading scheme is not applied to Australian aircraft.
This would include backing any World Trade Organisation challenge.
Mr Truss did water down one section of his motion, substituting “join in other appropriate international action” for “join any international action”.
He acknowledged the original wording could have called on the government to do something “unwise”.
Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, in supporting the motion, said the government was actively defending Australia’s interests.
He said the issue should be dealt with through the International Air Transport Association.