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EU freezes controversial aviation carbon tax

Published on Nov 13, 2012 6:06 AM

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union executive caved in to critics of its contested carbon tax on air travel on Monday, offering to "stop the clock" and freeze the measure for a year on flights to and from non-European nations.

The EU's climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said at a hastily arranged news conference that she had just recommended in a phone conversation with the 27 EU nations that the tax be suspended in the interests of negotiating a global CO2 deal.

"Finally we have a chance to get an international regulation on emissions from aviation," Ms Hedegaard said, referring to progress on the matter at a Friday meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal.

"But let me be very clear: if this exercise does not deliver - and I hope it does - then needless to say we are back to where we are today with the EU ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme). Automatically!" she stressed.

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