Sun, Jun 10, 2007
Needs Parliamentary Nod For Implementation
controversial plan to require airlines to pay for the amount of
carbon dioxide their aircraft put into the atmosphere won the
approval of transport ministers in the European Union Saturday.
The measure -- aimed at cutting back to greenhouse gases --
requires approval by the European Parliament before it becomes law.
If that happens, in less than four years airlines would be forced
to either cut back on the amount of carbon dioxide produced, or
purchase credits from other industries -- a practice known as
Airlines are opposed to the forced implementation of the plan,
stating the carbon-capping scheme, to be imposed in 2011, would
cost the industry over $5 billion annually -- while providing
negligible benefits to the environment.
They point out airliners are responsible for less than two
percent of global carbon emissions -- and manufacturers like Boeing
and Airbus are working on more efficient planes, powered by cleaner
engines, that should bring that percentage down further.
The European Union has vowed to curb carbon dioxide emissions
throughout all industries 20 percent by 2020.
"Every mode of transport, including the air mode, has to make
its contribution to tackling climate change," said Wolfgang
Tiefensee, Germany's transport minister, to the BBC.
For the moment, the proposal includes only EU carriers. The
United States has warned the EU that attempting to impose the plan
on non-EU airlines could be a violation of international aviation
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