EU holds off on airline emission taxes

Nov. 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The European Union says it has postponed plans to extend rules requiring airlines to pay for their carbon emissions for flights to and from non-EU destinations.

The rules had been unpopular with U.S., Chinese and Indian airlines among others, the BBC reported.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she had proposed "stopping the clock for one year" due to progress being made in negotiations on global emissions goals.

EU emission rules originally only applied to internal flights that took off and terminated within the 27-country bloc, but it had expanded them in January to cover flights beginning or ending in non-EU destinations.

The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme was originally set up in 2005 to cover factories and other land-based emitters of CO2 but was extended to cover aircraft at the start of the year.

Airlines using airports within the EU must pay a tax on each ton of CO2 emitted by their aircraft.

Airlines have resisted the rules, saying it could cost them $22.3 billion over eight years, but the EU has argued they only add between $5 and $30 to the price of a long-haul flight.

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