EU's Barroso stands firm on ETS for airlines

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2011 9:18 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is not considering changing its law obliging airlines flying to Europe to join its emissions trading scheme, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday.

"The inclusion of aviation in the ETS is not a proposal, it is now European law. It was approved unanimously by the member states of the European Union, and it was adopted ... with a very strong backing by the European Parliament. So we are not thinking at all about the possibility of changing our legislation," Barroso told a news conference.

From January 1 next year, the EU will require all airlines flying to Europe to be included in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a system that forces polluters to buy permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide they emit above a certain cap.

China is spearheading opposition to the plan, saying it will cost Chinese airlines 800 million yuan ($123 million) in the first year and more than triple that by 2020.

(Reporting by Pete Harrison and Christopher Le Coq, editing by Rex Merrifield)