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EU Could Force Airlines to Join Emissions Trading Scheme

U.S. airlines flying into and out of Europe would need to buy permits to cover emissions on their European routes if draft European Commission Legislation is adopted, The Times reports (via GroovyGreen).

The legislation, to be published next month, says that airlines would join Europe’s emissions trading scheme by 2011 and predicts that they would pass on the costs to their passengers.

The legislation estimates that passengers on flights within Europe would pay an extra £6 for a ticket, with the actual sum depending on the price of the permits. Those flying long haul would pay up to £27.

The Association of European Airlines said that the proposal could provoke a trade war between the US and the EU, and raise the risk of flight restrictions and sanctions on European goods.

The wide scope of the scheme was bound to provoke legal challenges, which could delay its introduction. The US Air Transport Association said in a statement: “Air carriers have dramatically improved their fuel efficiency, and trading obligations are unnecessary to spur continued improvement.”

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