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EU Commission freezes carbon emissions law for airlines

Published on Nov 12, 2012 8:48 PM

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Union (EU) will put on hold its rule that all airlines must pay for their emissions on flights to and from Europe, but will resume enforcement if a United Nations airline body fails to deliver a global deal, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

EU airlines will still have to pay for their carbon emissions under existing rules and EU member states will still have to formally endorse the Commission's exemption for non-EU carriers, Ms Hedegaard said. She added that she had informed representatives of the 27 member states of the Commission's plan.

The EU has come under intense international pressure to tear up its law making all airlines using EU airports buy carbon allowances on its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The Commission, the EU's executive, has repeatedly said it will only change its rules if the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) can agree an alternative scheme to help curb rising airline emissions.

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