Monday, November 12, 2012

EU stops foreign airline carbon charge

A dash of common sense and realization that the backlash to EU airlines would have been tremendous must have happened.

The EU will suspend for one year a controversial policy of charging foreign airlines for their carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe, citing progress in negotiations towards a global regime to tackle pollution by the aviation industry.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate commissioner, announced the suspension on Monday of a policy that had united the US, China, Russia, Brazil, India and several other countries in their opposition to it.

The EU carbon emissions trading scheme had also drawn complaints from European airlines and Airbus, the Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer, which feared being caught up in a global trade war.

European Commission officials insisted that they had not buckled to international pressure in proposing to defer enforcement of the scheme against flights into and out of Europe until the end of 2013. Instead, they attributed the move to positive results last week in talks at a UN aviation body about a potential international agreement after years of frustration.

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